Revisiting a Better Philadelphia: 1947-2017

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

2016
$60,000

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Time-Space Machine, part of the Better Philadelphia exhibition, 1947. Photo by Ezra Stoller, published in Architectural Forum, reprinted as Philadelphia Plans Again, courtesy of The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Primary entrance of the Better Philadelphia exhibition, 1947, Gimbels Department Store. Photo by Ezra Stoller, published in Architectural Forum, reprinted as Philadelphia Plans Again, courtesy of The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Installation view of the Better Philadelphia exhibition, 1947. Photo by Ezra Stoller, published in Architectural Forum, reprinted as Philadelphia Plans Again, courtesy of The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Installation view of the Better Philadelphia exhibition, 1947. Photo by Ezra Stoller, published in Architectural Forum, reprinted as Philadelphia Plans Again, courtesy of The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia will develop a contemporary exhibition plan to restage the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 1947 Better Philadelphia Exhibition—a pivotal historic project that helped define urban redevelopment in the region. The original exhibition was the brainchild of architect Oskar Stonorov and civic leader Walter Phillips, and was installed on two floors of the Gimbels department store in downtown Philadelphia. Drawing nearly 400,000 visitors in 1947, the exhibition promoted the work of the Planning Commission and the importance of urban planning, civic responsibility, and residential growth. Marking the 70th anniversary of the original staging, Revisiting a Better Philadelphia: 1947-2017 will ground the city's current period of economic redevelopment within a deeper historical context, while inviting dialogue about how to strengthen diverse community growth and preserve Philadelphia's architectural heritage.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.