At the time, it seemed like a great idea, a nocturnal outing on a spring evening for a dozen or so Temple University friends.

“Let’s go to the Divine Lorraine,” Brian Jerome, then a 19-year-old art student, suggested to all those assembled on the benches outside Peabody Hall.

It was before midnight on April 6, 2010. Brian had been inside the abandoned hotel on North Broad Street many times. He had felt the lure of the graffiti-draped Divine Lorraine from the moment he arrived on campus as a freshman the year before.

Meandering its dark, dank corridors, Brian loved to imagine the grandeur of the building’s storied past as the headquarters for the self-styled preacher Father Divine and his flock.

(Story continues: Plunge inside Divine Lorraine teaches Temple daredevil a hard lesson – Philly.com)

In October, Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee C. Fox ruled that the Board of L&I Review was wrong to overturn the Historical Commission’s decision to grant the owners of the Church of the Assumption a permit to demolish the historic structure based on financial hardship.


In what is eerily reminiscent of the Dec. 23, 2007 demolition of the
 Romaldo Giurgola inspired PLICO buildings on North Broad Street, HiddenCity’s Christopher Mote now reports that a permit for demolition has been pulled in light of the judge’s decision to restablish the financial hardship scenario. The demolition notice posted on the church front door said the razing of the structure will begin on or after Dec. 11. Over the summer, Siloam sold the land, along with the Church, a rectory, convent, and school to developer John Wei for more than a million dollars.

Wei could not be reached for comment, but told PlanPhilly at the time of his purchase of the church property that he had “no idea yet” what he would do with the plot, but that he wanted to make the neighborhood happy.

(via Will holiday demolition herald Church of the Assumption? | PlanPhilly: Planning Philadelphia’s Future)

United by Blue (UBB) pledges to remove one pound of trash for every product sold. But these [Eraserhood]-based philanthropists don’t just stop at oceans… They help when it matters most.

This past Saturday, 100 volunteers school-’bussed’ their way up to Staten Island, New York for Hurricane Sandy assistance efforts. Since I wanted to get involved with the UBB cleanups, I went along to volunteer.

The bus departed Philly’s United by Blue headquarters in the morning after waking up with coffee and granola snacks. We arrived in Midland Beach, one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island. As soon as we headed to the Community Center for a quick slice of pizza, we absorbed the entire vibe of neighbors, retired police officers & “Occupy Sandy” teams hard at work.

(via The United By Blue’s ‘Sandy’ Staten Island Cleanup Adventure)

Hitting PhilaMOCA this week is an event that will be more thrilling than the past three seasons of RAW combined: The Blank Canvas Wrestling Art Show.

On display will be numerous works celebrating the glorious world of professional wrestling and the men and women who transform pre-planned matches into a body-slamming ballet of pop culture excess through their athleticism and over-the-top personas. You can expect to see art from Box Brown, Christian Patchell, Esperanza Altamar, Bernie Gross, Niki Bombshell, Matt Emerich, and many more.

(via Wrestling and Art Collide This Friday | Geekadelphia)

As a mega-perk for the Hidden City Daily’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, we just posted a private tour of two of Philly’s legendary buildings, the Metropolitan Opera House and the Divine Lorraine hotel. Remarkable grand dames like these deserve a raconteur of the first order, which is exactly what we have in Hidden City’s own Thaddeus Squire, who will be leading the tour. To sweeten the deal, we dipped into our private stash of Divine Lorraine-iana and pulled out two postcards from the 1920s, as well as matching views of the same rooms from the early 2000s from photographers Joseph E.B. Elliott and Peter Woodall.

(via Who’s The Divine Lorraine’s Biggest Fan? | Hidden City Philadelphia)

Panorama 756Panorama 762Panorama 952Panorama 953

Goldtex, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Thank you for being a total gentleman, Mr. Security. I definitely have been photographing your building from all angles for several years, now. I even exhibited a print of “Panorama 762″ in an show last year. I have that print over my desk as I write this. I’m really surprised you never saw me at it before today.

I’m sure if you look at your security tapes you will find you have recorded many, many images of me, too. I work just down the street and pass your building at least four times every work day.