I recently posted an old aerial picture of the Perkasie Tunnel, one of Bucks County’s most historic landmarks. But that got me thinking about images of other places in the Philadelphia area we’ve lost since the 1920s and 1930s.
The Hagley Museum in Delaware has one of best online museum websites in the country, and I use it for research and to settle the occasional bar bet about where things were in Perkasie, Lansdale, and
The Hagley has the massive J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey photo collection online for free. Check out this great digital exhibit from the Hagley about this collection:
As a historic preservationist, I am glad we have these photos but very sad many of these great places were replaced with shopping malls, housing developments, and “urban renewal.” How many of these places do you know or visited at one time? Tell us in the comment field below or on my Facebook page!
Perkasie Town Center
This 1937 aerial photo shows the American House and Moyer’s Building, and the great Joseph Hendricks House designed by Milton Bean, which was torn down in the 1960s to build a parking lot at 7th and Market.
This closeup of a 1936 photo shows the original train station with the great Tremont Hotel near it. This outstanding piece of Victorian architecture was demolished for a modern drug store.
This 1924 aerial of the world-famous Willow Grove Park, where John Philip Sousa played often, was replaced with a shopping mall.
The E.T. Stotesbury Estate
This fantastic property in Whitemarsh Township was abandoned after the 1960s. I would have no knowledge of being on the grounds after that. It was replaced with townhouses in the 1980s.
This photo was taken during the 1929 World Series between the Philadelphia A’s and the Chicago Cubs.
Pennhurst State School
This 1925 photo shows the facility that treated people deemed to be mentally incapacitated in abusive conditions. After WCAU-TVs investigation in the late 1960s, the facility was closed in the 1970s.
Pictured during the 1940 Army-Navy game, the stadium was built for the Gene Tunney-Jack Dempsey fight. It also hosted Live Aid in 1985.
Broad Street Station
One of master architect Frank Furness’ greatest works, the Broad Street Station for the Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest train terminal in the world during part of the Victorian era.
This 1931 aerial photo shows the massive facility at the height of its capacity.
John A. Roebling and Sons
This combination steel plant and factory town in Roebling, N.J., pictured in 1930, would give the world the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco just a few years later.