Spotlight: One Drexel Plaza

Today, we know the mammoth building standing at 3001 Market Street as One Drexel Plaza; however, before Drexel purchased it in a 1993 auction, the edifice was known as the Bulletin Building. Built in 1955 and designed by architect George Howe with the help of Louis McAllister, the Bulletin Building was home to the newsroom and presses for The Philadelphia Bulletin, a daily newspaper published between 1847 and 1982 with the slogan “in Philadelphia, nearly everybody reads The Bulletin” (www.phillyhistory.org). As noted in Drexel’s 2012-2017 Master Plan, the building was “recognized as a landmark of modern architecture” with its simple form and prominent vertical and horizontal lines. The Bulletin Building was Howe’s final commission of significant size.

The four-floor building has been eligible for National Register status since 1997 and houses Drexel’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies as well as other commercial tenants.

Take a look at an early image of the Bulletin Building that was featured on a postcard at the link below (Philadelphia Free Library). You’ll notice that the east façade was changed to accommodate the series of windows that exists today. https://libwww.freelibrary.org/diglib/SearchItem.cfm?searchKey=2814291559&ItemID=pdcp00575

1dp(Photo credit: Emily Mitnick)

bulletin(Source: https://drexelmasterplan.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/v-2012-2017-master-plan-current-issues-4-the-superblock/)

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Spotlight: Rush Building

Did you know that the building which currently houses Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics–the Rush Building–was once a hospital? The Hospital for the Treatment of Consumption and Related Diseases was built in 1904 and named in honor of Benjamin Rush, a renowned doctor from Philadelphia. (Fun fact: Dr. Rush lived during the 18th century and signed the Declaration of Independence!) In 1961, Drexel purchased the building and it became the home of the Graduate School of Library Science.  Between 1978 and 1981, the Rush Building endured a series of renovations to make the sole use of its space for the library and information science programs. Since the initial renovations, the Rush Building has been renovated inside and out to accommodate the growing and evolving College of Computing and Informatics. Today, the building offers the iCommons computer lab, Drexel University Libraries, the Information Technology Lab and wireless classrooms with A/V technology as facilities for students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Take a look at photos of the Rush Building below:

Rush_Building_-_Drexel_University_-_IMG_7301(Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Rush_Building_-_Drexel_University_-_IMG_7301.JPG)

Drexel_Rush_Courtyard(Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Drexel_Rush_Courtyard.jpg)

For more information on the Rush Building, visit: http://cci.drexel.edu/about/our-facilities/rush-building.aspx.

Spotlight: Main Building

If you’ve ever spent time on Drexel’s University City campus, chances are you noticed the grand, blonde brick and terra cotta building situated between 31st and 32nd Streets on Chestnut Street. This edifice, known today as the Main Building, or more colloquially, “Main,” initially housed every department within the university, administrative and academic alike. The Main Building was designed by architect Joseph M. Wilson and completed in 1891.

Wilson worked closely with university founder Anthony J. Drexel to create a structure that reflected the unconventional focus of the institution: business, commerce and industry (as opposed to an emphasis on liberal arts education featured by most other colleges at the time). The inclusion of all university divisions under one roof and centered around an atrium (the Great Court) provided a fresh model for an urban university building; the space offered opportunities for social experiences similar to those in a busy, commercial core.

Today, if you step inside the Main Building, you’ll notice it gives off a similar feeling. Students, faculty, staff and visitors brush shoulders or wave as they pass through the Great Court or peer down into the atrium from floors above; the building’s core serves as a gathering space for students to talk between classes and is also a prime stop on the university tour for prospective students. Despite undergoing some physical changes to accommodate the growing university and for maintenance, the Main Building has retained most of its original form and remains a significant historic building on Drexel’s University City campus.

If you’d like to view old photographs of the Main Building, visit http://www.phillyhistory.org. Use “3141 Chestnut Street” as the address. 

Furthermore, if you’d like to read about the architectural history of the Main Building from 1891-1991, take a look at this article from the Drexel University Archives: http://idea.library.drexel.edu/handle/1860/1258

Check out recent photos of the Main Building below (photo credit for the following photos goes to Emily Mitnick):

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.39.27 AMScreen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.40.02 AMScreen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.40.10 AMScreen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.40.36 AMScreen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.40.48 AMScreen shot 2014-04-17 at 11.41.08 AM

Spotlight: University Crossings

Today, we recognize the building at 3175 JFK Boulevard as Drexel’s University Crossings, which opened its doors as a dormitory in 2002. Long before it housed students, though, the edifice (built in 1927) was known as the Pennsylvania Railroad Office Building and provided additional workspace to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s existing headquarters above the former Broad Street Station. The Neoclassical building was designed by the same architects that later planned 30th Street Station (built 1927-1933), Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. In 2003, the Pennsylvania Railroad Office Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

crossings3Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/PA_Railroad_Office_Building%2C_Philadelphia_01.JPG

crossings2Photo credit: Emily Mitnick
Source: instagram.com/drexelplan

crossingsPhoto credit: Emily Mitnick
Source: instagram.com/drexelplan