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Re: what a difference 250 years make2002.11.24 17:48
You're kind of exactly right when you suggest that maybe there are too many places of "historic" significance in Philadelphia, and it is interesting that you bring to mind Piranesi and his map of the Campo Marzio because that map/plan indeed records so many of ancient Rome's historic sites even though almost none of them still existed in Piranesi's time. Moreover, it is worth also keeping in mind that Piranesi was delineating a place/city more than 1400 years after the fact. It seems almost impossible to even speculate whether, for example, the old "Indian" trail of Ridge Avenue will even still exist in 3402. Then again, it would be fun to imagine what some future Philadelphia Renaissance or Baroque period might be like. Note Franklin and Piranesi are near contemporaries; Piranesi died 1778 while Franklin was in France.
When I wrote the above I had no idea that this happened the same day:Implosion of Louis Kahn's Mill Creek Project Towers (Philadelphia: 2002.11.24).
For the past two days I've been exploring Lorimer Park for the first time. It's also part of the Pennypack Creek watershed, but within Montgomery County (as opposed to Philadelphia). The western-most entrance to Pennypack Park (Philadelphia) and the eastern-most entrance to Lorimer Park (Montgomery County) are literally across the street (Pine Road) from each other. What I've come to find out is that Fox Chase Farm is essentially sandwiched between Pennypack Park and Lorimer Park, and there's a (very high) point of Lorimer Park that runs along the back edge of Fox Chase Farm. From this point is a magnificent view of practically the whole of Fox Chase Farm complete with cows in the fields, right down to Pine Road about a mile away (which is just within Philadelphia's border. Almost as old a settlement as where I live, Fox Chase Farm's land has been 'settled' since the late 1600s, and maybe one reason the land has remained unchanged is because it is in both Philadelphia and Montgomery County.) Without trees, I think I could even see the location of my house over something like a mile and a half away. Anyway, being at that point is like stepping back in time, seeing the difference over 300 years did not make.