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A guide to finding information about the city

General LC Subject Headings

Architecture -- Pennsylvania
    -- Philadelphia

Buildings -- Pennsylvania --

Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Buildings,
   structures, etc.

Philadelphia Pa -- Historic
   Houses Etc



The Buildings section of the PhillySkyline website. Contains a growing number of photograph collections of important Philadelphia buildings.

Changing Skyline.

Columns by Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. See also Saffron's blog Skyline Online.

Library Search (formerly DIAMOND / SUMMON)

McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Collection -- Over 31,000 news photographs ca. 1860- 1982,
Tyler War Poster Collection -- 1,450 posters from World War I,
Betancourt Slide Collection -- 1,008 color images of Philadelphia architecture,
C. William Fox Architectural Slide Collection -- 3,709 architecture slides of important local and international buildings,
Worcester Art History Photograph Collection -- 4,511 images of worldwide architectural and art history photographs ca. 1890-1920.

Housing Association of the Delaware Valley Photographs, 1870 - 1985

Images produced for the Housing Association of the Delaware Valley (previously the Philadelphia Housing Association) and the Octavia Hill Association, ca. 1897-1972. Includes housing interiors and exteriors, streets, courts, alleys, public housing projects, privy vaults, and sanitation conditions. Most images are exteriors and the emphasis of the collections is on poor living conditions. BROWSE THE COLLECTION

Places in Time : Historical Documentation of Place in Greater Philadelphia.

 This project, from Bryn Mawr, is an effort to bring together some resources -- images, documents, tools, and links -- for pursuing historical information about place in the five-county Philadelphia area: Bucks, Chester, Delaware. Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. 

Philadelphia Architects and Buildings

"... contains more than 217,591 projects and buildings, 22,054 architects, engineers and contractors, and over 115,257 images. "

Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, 4nd Edition. Philadelphia, Pa. : Foundation for Architecture, c2016.

Philadelphia Architecture, A Guide to the City (Fourth Edition) provides more than three hundred descriptions and photographs, both color and black and white, of the city's architecturally most significant buildings. Spanning more than three hundred years, these great buildings characterize Philadelphia as unique among American cities, comprising, as they do, nearly every style of architecture found in the United States.

Philadelphia preserved : catalog of the Historic American Buildings Survey / Richard J. Webster ; with an introd. by Charles   E. Peterson, 1981, 2nd edition.

"Organized by the traditional sections of the city, the entries include extensive physical descriptions of the structures, analyses of architecturally notable features, dates of construction, alteration, or demolition, and a new street index. The book contains more than 100 drawings, photos, and maps from the HABS collection.

Skyline Online: what's Going Up, Coming Down and Going on in Philadelphia Architecture.

A blog by Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. See also Saffron's column Changing Skyline

Subject Specialist

Gregory McKinney's picture
Gregory McKinney
Paley Library
Room: 221
1210 W. Polett Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-204-4581
Fax: 215-204-5201