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Thursday, 30 June 2011

SOS Preservation Tour

Part of the SOS walking tour

Early 19th
century cobblestones

David Traub, SOS facilator,
 welcomes the group
 (Photos: Richard Carreno
/Writers Clearinghouse)
 Walking into the Past

A warren of 'small' streets In Washington Square West became a setting for a fast rewind in time for a few hours this week as 21st century urban Philadelphia, highlighted by the hubhub of nearby Locust Street, receded into a 200-year-old labyrinth of twisted alleys and hidden walks from the early 19th century. It was an-only-in-Philly moment, enhanced by the city's uniquely pristine housing stock from long ago. For about 30 members and friends of Save Our Sites (SOS), who meandered through the nearly 10-street area Sunday, all that was missing was an official 'All aboard!,' inviting the group to step into the time capsule afternoon tour.

'I've walked these streets many times before,' said one SOS member on the Sunday tour. 'But this is the first time I've seen the true history of these buildings.'

For SOS, however, one concern had a particularly modern twist. The group is concerned that a 'stub' of one street might be rezoned for private use.

Also highlighting the tour, principally around 11th Street, was a visit to the visit to the Mask and Wig club, a private theatrical group made up of students from the University of Pennsylvania.
-- Writers Clearinghouse News Service, edited by Justin Carreno

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