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Old 08-30-2015, 12:09 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,816 posts, read 34,861,259 times
Reputation: 10258

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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
Well, now I see from you guys's POV how the retail scene in Philly is better now. Because you are comparing it with the 90s.
Also, Center City needs a variety. It can't all be upscale. There used to be nice enough places for everyone. Then the trashy places popped up. That wasn't nice. But there used to be a huge dime store on east Chestnut. Nothing wrong with that. There used to be a really nice fabric store on Market, across from Lits, while there were still enough mills to fill it. There were places for all incomes. There were automats for people to eat in that weren't pricey. There was a King of Pizza across Market from Wanamakers. You could watch them throwing the dough & spinning it. Madame Wellington's fake diamonds were sold in the Bellevue Stratford.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
14,395 posts, read 9,315,512 times
Reputation: 10712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
It appears to me that maybe its a difference in generational views. Asiandudeyo and myself are much younger than most of you guys(no offense) so our take on what we think the city needs/what we do not find appealing may be quite different from someone who is 55 and lived in Philly their whole life.
Make that "...who is 55 and/or..."

kyb01 and I are acquainted - we go back to Penn and the days of Usenet - but she's the native. I'm a native of Kansas City. I just act like a native Philadelphian here, and then not always.

BTW, kyb01, I get your point; you are right that we should have high-end retail in Center City. I just get the impression from some of the comments advocating for it that the advocates believe that's all we should have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
Yes F21 = Forever 21.
It caters men as well as women. Although the one in CC, the men dept. is a measly corner.
I will need to check it out sometime. It must be in a blink-and-you-miss-it location, for I don't recall running across it. Where is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Back when the A Team was on, before it was reruns, empty storefronts suddenly came alive with no-name establishments with the windows filled with boomboxes & wads of gold chains.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
Well, now I see from you guys's POV how the retail scene in Philly is better now. Because you are comparing it with the 90s.
I remember when Chestnut Street was really scary after 5 p.m., in the last days of the Transitway. After the offices closed, the street became a no-man's land, and you'd see folks putting up big fabric backdrops with street scenes or graffiti for people to pose in front of on the gates of the closed stores.

Even in its current transitional state, Chestnut Street is much better now; eliminating the Transitway was the best thing the city's done for the street. It may never again be the epitome of Center City shopping it once was, but it's headed in the right direction. And speaking of high-end retail, how about homegrown furniture boutique Cella Luxuria?
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:59 AM
 
10,787 posts, read 8,826,294 times
Reputation: 3984
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Also, Center City needs a variety. It can't all be upscale. There used to be nice enough places for everyone. Then the trashy places popped up. That wasn't nice. But there used to be a huge dime store on east Chestnut. Nothing wrong with that. There used to be a really nice fabric store on Market, across from Lits, while there were still enough mills to fill it. There were places for all incomes. There were automats for people to eat in that weren't pricey. There was a King of Pizza across Market from Wanamakers. You could watch them throwing the dough & spinning it. Madame Wellington's fake diamonds were sold in the Bellevue Stratford.
I actually laughed at this post. Only in recognition. Thanks for the memories.

That "dime store" on Chestnut, across from Wanamaker's, was a flagship Woolworth's. The lunch counter in there was awesome. The basement section had great, reasonably prices housewares, AND speaking of fabrics.... they had fabrics and sewing notions.

I don't remember any fabric stores on Market. But I do remember Stapler's, which was in the 1200 block of Walnut. There was also Kaplan's which spent time on the 1100 block of Walnut, across from the Forrest Theater, and on N 9th St. I loved Kaplan's because they would make displays of fabrics used in fashion mags like Vogue and Harper's Bizaar(sp).

Automats! Horn and Hardarts. No one under 50 knows anything about those first hand. Lol
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:03 AM
 
10,787 posts, read 8,826,294 times
Reputation: 3984
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post





I remember when Chestnut Street was really scary after 5 p.m., in the last days of the Transitway. After the offices closed, the street became a no-man's land, and you'd see folks putting up big fabric backdrops with street scenes or graffiti for people to pose in front of on the gates of the closed stores.

Even in its current transitional state, Chestnut Street is much better now; eliminating the Transitway was the best thing the city's done for the street. It may never again be the epitome of Center City shopping it once was, but it's headed in the right direction. And speaking of high-end retail, how about homegrown furniture boutique Cella Luxuria?
The Transitway was, easily, one of the worse decisions made in the city in the last 50 years. Another example of how the Rizzo years were pretty awful in hindsight.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:43 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,816 posts, read 34,861,259 times
Reputation: 10258
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
I actually laughed at this post. Only in recognition. Thanks for the memories.

That "dime store" on Chestnut, across from Wanamaker's, was a flagship Woolworth's. The lunch counter in there was awesome. The basement section had great, reasonably prices housewares, AND speaking of fabrics.... they had fabrics and sewing notions.

I don't remember any fabric stores on Market. But I do remember Stapler's, which was in the 1200 block of Walnut. There was also Kaplan's which spent time on the 1100 block of Walnut, across from the Forrest Theater, and on N 9th St. I loved Kaplan's because they would make displays of fabrics used in fashion mags like Vogue and Harper's Bizaar(sp).

Automats! Horn and Hardarts. No one under 50 knows anything about those first hand. Lol
You're welcome.

I remember the fabric store on Market St from the late 60s/early 70s. They had bolts of fabulous material in the windows. I never went in, but I used to stand there & stare at the material, imagining what it could become.

History books used to tell about the Horn & Hardarts automats in NYC, but they were in Philadelphia, too. I believe that they started in Philadelphia. It wasn't fine dining, but it was functional for the middle class office workers.

The Woolworths was great. The nicest one that I was ever in. I hesitated to mention it by name as it probably means nothing to the younger posters. You saw rich & poor mingling in the Woolworths. you could see people with bags from the Lerner Shop, Wanamakers, even Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,266 posts, read 5,675,952 times
Reputation: 2147
I remember in the 80's when there were still two Woolworths in Germantown: one on Germantown Ave (that one had a soda fountain), and one on Chelten Ave right next to the JCPenney and down the block from Sears.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:25 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,266 posts, read 5,675,952 times
Reputation: 2147
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
The Transitway was, easily, one of the worse decisions made in the city in the last 50 years. Another example of how the Rizzo years were pretty awful in hindsight.
I think it may have been poor timing, among other things. Among other things at that time, urban retail was in the process of getting killed by shopping malls, and single screen movie theaters were in the process of going extinct. Chestnut Street had a lot stacked against it.
Pedestrian mall developments similar to the transitway are actually in vogue in cities right now though. I wonder how it might have worked out today?
I also wonder if Maplewood Mall in Germantown (same era and spirit as the transitway, but sans buses), will see some rebirth, if Germantown picks up in general?
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:29 PM
 
10,787 posts, read 8,826,294 times
Reputation: 3984
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
You're welcome.



History books used to tell about the Horn & Hardarts automats in NYC, but they were in Philadelphia, too. I believe that they started in Philadelphia. It wasn't fine dining, but it was functional for the middle class office workers.

The Woolworths was great. The nicest one that I was ever in. I hesitated to mention it by name as it probably means nothing to the younger posters. You saw rich & poor mingling in the Woolworths. you could see people with bags from the Lerner Shop, Wanamakers, even Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
Horn and Hardarts started in Phila. I think the first automat, or nearly the first, was in 800 block of Chestnut. The upper floor facade of its building, which was quite distinctive, may still be visible. Something tells me that it may have been a Tiffany design because of the stained glass.

Hmmm.... I think the folks who migrated here from NY certainly know about Woolworth Bldg so they may know something about the store chain.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:36 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,816 posts, read 34,861,259 times
Reputation: 10258
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Horn and Hardarts started in Phila. I think the first automat, or nearly the first, was in 800 block of Chestnut. The upper floor facade of its building, which was quite distinctive, may still be visible. Something tells me that it may have been a Tiffany design because of the stained glass.

Hmmm.... I think the folks who migrated here from NY certainly know about Woolworth Bldg so they may know something about the store chain.
LOL, I thought I was pushing it to say dime store.

There are so many stores that I remember & can visualize, but the names escape me. I always got a chuckle from the Madam Wellington ads in the Sunday Inquirer. There's definitely a history of middle class shopping. The humor, to me, was that Madam Wellington was in the Bellevue.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Center City
7,529 posts, read 10,315,227 times
Reputation: 11038
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I remember when Chestnut Street was really scary after 5 p.m., in the last days of the Transitway. After the offices closed, the street became a no-man's land, and you'd see folks putting up big fabric backdrops with street scenes or graffiti for people to pose in front of on the gates of the closed stores.

Even in its current transitional state, Chestnut Street is much better now; eliminating the Transitway was the best thing the city's done for the street. It may never again be the epitome of Center City shopping it once was, but it's headed in the right direction. And speaking of high-end retail, how about homegrown furniture boutique Cella Luxuria?
I really enjoy reading posts from you long-term Philadelphians. We moved here going on 5 years and we've seen a number of changes ourselves in just that short time.

BTW - I lived in KC back in the mid-80s. It's truly an under-the-radar and under-appreciated city. My DH and I spent a weekend there last December with a room overlooking the Plaza holiday lights. The city continues to improve.
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