Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gladstone Hotel

Kahn Park at 11th and Pine in the heart of Antique Row wasn't always filled with Hostas, chess players, and Jefferson Hospital employees lunching. Prior to Kahn Park - named for famed architect Louis I. Kahn - it was briefly known locally as "Concrete Park", and prior to 1971, was the Greystone Apartments, and prior to that, the Gladstone Hotel.

The Gladstone Hotel was designed in 1890 by T.P. Chandler, founder of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Architecture, and prominent American architect.

Unfortunately, the Gladstone's dominatng 19th century presence conflicted with the vision of converting Society Hill and Washington Square into quaint, 18th century neighborhoods of colonial row houses, a vision that dominated the 50's, 60's, and early 70's.

By the 1960's, the Gladstone - or Greystone Apartments - had succumbed to the same fate of many other large urban hotels and apartment buildings and deteriorated to a perceived blight and was demolished in 1971.

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