We’ve always had a bit of a crush on 2212 Walnut St., sometimes known as the WPEN building. The building was constructed in 1928, and designed by Ralph Bencker, the architect for 1901 Walnut St. and the guy who did storefront work for several Horn & Hardart locations during that era. From the 1950s through the late 1970s, WPEN made its home here, before moving to Bala Cynwyd. In more recent years, the building was home to Springboard Media, which sold Mac products way before it was cool.
The building is a wonderful example of Art Deco design. The granite facade combined with the copper spandrels make for one of the most unique looking buildings in Center City. As you would…
The structure at 1622 Chestnut St. conjures images of men speaking into waffle-shaped microphones with funny, high-pitched voices and slick looking moustaches. An art-deco survivor flanked by chain stores like Men’s Wearhouse and RadioShack, the building shown below in a photo taken from the Temple University Libraries Digital Collection, was erected in 1933.
In 1933. Half photo, half illustration, all deco
In just a decade of operation, the small AM station WCAU had moved from the back of an electrician’s Market Street shop to this location. According to Alan J. Heavens’ article for Philly.com, this structure was the first building in the United States designed with the expressed intent of housing a radio station. Under the ownership of the newly forged Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the radio station began broadcasting at the familiar frequency of 1210. The image…