Revisiting a Better Philadelphia: 1947-2017

1/6: 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.
2/6: 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.
3/6: 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.
4/6: 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.
5/6: 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.
6/6: 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.

Marginal Utility’s Five Acts: Chronicles of Dissent was featured on Artforum’s website.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Nette Compton is senior director of ParkCentral and City Park Development for the Trust for Public Land in New York City.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ann Philbin has directed the Hammer Museum at UCLA since 1999. Prior to her arrival at the Hammer, she was director of the Drawing Center in New York.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Susan Stockton recently retired as the president of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a position she held since September of 2003. She is currently studying creative writing at Oxford University. Stockton served as a 2015 Performance LOI panelist.

Curatorial planning informed a series of exhibitions presented during the 2010 National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts Conference.

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Grants & Grantees

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Interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald presents a site-specific installation and performance at RAIR’s recycling facility and artist space.

Grants & Grantees

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Collaborators & Colleagues

Dubbed a “master storyteller” by The Independent, William Dalrymple is a renowned historian, bestselling author, essayist, curator, and co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest literary festival in the world.

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