Walking the Eraserhood: 10th and Callowhill Streets

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“Walking the Eraserhood” represents an ongoing street-level exploration of the Callowhill district and surrounding environs, a sort of virtual walking tour of the neighborhood.

Looking northwest along Ridge Avenue provides an excellent view of the Viaduct as it switches back and forth between iron and stone supports. The now empty triangle to the north, between Ridge and 10th is traditionally held to be the spot where Benjamin Franklin engaged a blacksmith to affix an iron point on his kite, prior to his famous experiment, supposedly also performed on this site. (The kite, itself, is held to have been flying over a spot several blocks away, where Assumption Church was later built.) On the northeast corner, one can see the former bottling line of George Esslinger’s brewery, as well as the taller, older brew house behind it. Here is an excellent example of an industrial site evolving in a specific location over the years. You can look at the various structures piled together and, if you have the experience, estimate the age of each. On the southwest corner is the former site of the site of the Philadelphia Circus and Menagerie, later rebuilt in 1874 as the New National Theater. Supposedly, with some modifications, the building currently on the site is the same building that once housed the theater.

Copyright © 2009-2013, Bob Bruhin. All rights reserved.

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