June 4 - October 1, 2022
Right now, I have a slight feeling of panic as I travel around Philadelphia, sometimes not knowing where I am anymore. How do we make sense out of this feeling and the way our city is morphing, at different spots, into a place we barely recognize?
Linger looks back to a similar moment: when “gloomy,” outdated mid-twentieth century Philadelphia was transformed by urban renewal into something modern and new. For Park Towne Place it meant "cleaning up" remnants from the outdated housing and little factories just south of the new Parkway. Linger 1 cuts away the ground to situate its towers above a garden of what came before. Linger 2 expands the view outward to include Society Hill, University City, Southwark, Sharswood, Mill Creek and Mantua.
The two installations make visible buildings, places and fragments, linking memory and history, to consider what lingers.
Brewer's 1934 appraisal map including information about the included complexes
Porcelain models of the four Park Towne Place towers installed in a large garden, balance over a few of the historical buildings they supplanted. Each building is about one foot tall with 2000 individual windows and 32 balconies.
See Amy Cohen's Hidden City Article about Park Towne Place for more background information and history.
Miniature high rise complexes from the mid-twentieth century are recreated in porcelain including Park Towne Place, Society Hill Towers and University of Pennsylvania High Rises. They are juxtaposed to the equally ambitious, but now demolished public projects of Mill Creek, Blumberg, Mantua Hall and Southwark. Roughly 4 to 6 inches high, cone 6 porcelain. A garden of poppies, violets, clovers and pansies is arranged according to Brewer's 1934 appraisal map. Window patterns impressed from 3D printed stamps for each building, also decorate the edge tiles.
Hidden City's Repercussions of Racist Maps Still Impact Neighborhoods Today (Amy Cohen) is a great discussion of the impact of "redlining" on Philadelphia today. It certainly influenced my choice to use Brewer's 1934 appraisal Map as a guide for arranging Linger 2's garden.
Park Town Place: 23rd and the Parkway. 4 (18 stories) 1957-1959
Society Hill Towers: 2nd and Locust. 3 (31 stories) I. M. Pei 1964 More Information
Penn High Rises: 40th and Locust. 3 (25 stories) 1970 More Information
Mantua Hall: 36th and Fairmount. 1 demolished (18 stories) 1961-2008 More Information
Blumberg Towers: 23rd and Jefferson. 2 demolished (18 stories) 1966 - 2016 More Information
Mill Creek: 46th and Fairmount. 3 demolished (17 stories) Louis Kahn 1953/55-2002 More Information
Southwark: 4th and Washington. 2 demolished (25 stories) 1963-2000 (note: 1 tower was renovated) More Information
A stoneware copy of Playskool's iconic1960's toy references the way we each carry a life-time of experiences, suggesting a parallel between our individual history and that of a city. Linger 3 notices how making the architectural models in Linger 1 and 2 felt much the same way it did when I used colorful wooden blocks to build a city on my living room rug when I was five years old. Dark stoneware, cone 6, glazed.