Founders Hall @ Girard CollegeJuly 1, 2009
I literally live a block from one of the most beautiful and historic spots in Philly- Girard College (not actually a college but a boarding school). It’s rare that the general public is allowed inside the sprawling campus and high walls but we peasants were allowed in as part of Hidden City Philadelphia. It allowed me to finally check out the grand Founders Hall, which was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter, the same guy who designed the US Capitol dome. It was the second most expensive building built before the Civil War, second only to the US Capitol, and it is larger than the Parthenon.
Some history of Stephen Girard and his school:
He was one of the wealthiest men of the US industrial age and he left the bulk of his money to the city to build a school for “poor white male orphans.” Brown vs. Board of Education in the ’50s ruled that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional and Martin Luther King Jr. himself marched outside the college. It allowed blacks in 1972. It didn’t admit women until 1984.
Check out the very interesting complete timeline here.
I really need to brush up on my photography skills but I managed to get some good shots:
The colorful props are left over from a scene that was shot for M. Night Shalamadingdong’s next project The Last Airbender.
Student graffitti on the ceiling of a closet from 1880. I think this is so cool:
All of the old student records dating back to the mid 1800s are piled up in this dusty old room. So cool: