Philadelphia has many hidden architectural gems. They've destroyed a lot of them in the name of progress and modernity. But if you look down alleys at the backs of buildings and in the corners of the city that haven't yet been 'improved', sometimes you find treasure.
Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a piece recently about an interesting structure that I don't think I knew about. It's a Venetian Bridge of Sighs. I've been to Venice and walked past the original several times a day for a week. This isn't a reproduction but is a very impressive nod to the original.
It was designed in 1912 to allow employees to move from Lit Brothers department store (itself an architectural wonder) to the Cast Iron building behind it. You can read her article here. You can read about and see photos of Lit Brothers here.
Lit Brothers is still mostly intact, but they're about to build a skyscraper above and behind it, with the stipulation that the bridge remains.
I wish businesses appreciated the buildings they're in and stopped putting new lower facades or entrances on them. It destroys the architectural integrity of the building. They look like someone in a tuxedo or gown wearing combat boots.
Here are two photos of Philadelphia's Bridge of Sighs I took on Saturday: