The many neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River across from William Penn's "Quaker City" were distinctly rural until 1860, when horsecar lines first crossed the river. The area soon became home to wealthy businessmen who built elegant mansions and villas in University City and Powelton Village. West Philadelphia's growth accelerated northward into Belmont and Parkside-Girard after the 1876 Centennial Exposition and westward into Cedar Park, Spruce Hill, and Walnut Hill in the 1890s with the introduction of electric trolley lines. West Philadelphia: University City to 52nd Street is the first photographic history of the area in the last one hundred years. Images of the typical, modest West Philadelphia row houses, which slowly took over the open farmland after the Market Street Elevated opened in 1907, tell the story of how Philadelphia became known as the "City of Homes." Countless, rarely seen photographs of the streets where people lived and worked fill this extraordinary history.
About the Author
Robert Morris Skaler, a forensic architect and historian, has been collecting historical images of West Philadelphia for more than thirty-five years. A past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Victorian Society in America and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Architecture, Skaler has lectured and written extensively on Victorian Philadelphia architecture. In West Philadelphia, he has drawn upon his large collection of vintage photo postcards and other private collections to compile this rare assemblage of images. Its carefully researched narrative makes it an important and timeless book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University City to 52nd Street (Images of America Series) based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This book has photos and postcards of University City with text providing the history of buildings, including many still in use, and a few that are gone. Fascinating reading for those who know the neighborhoods, and informative for anyone who wants to know more about Philadelphia.
West Philadelphia is enjoyable reading with great vintage pictures from 100 years ago.