Restoring Neighborhood to North Broad Street in Philadelphia
Jacks, Philip J.
Rockcastle, Garth C
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A century ago, mansions of Philadelphia's industrial nouveau riche lined upper Broad Street. Today these neighborhoods are virtually cut off from City Hall and Center Square amid blocks of urban blight. One last relic of this gilded age is Willis Hale's Lorraine Apartments of 1894. Acquired by Reverend Baker in 1947, the Divine Lorraine became the city's first integrated hotel and beacon for the civil rights movement. Since its sale in 1999, the building has remained abandoned and its interior gutted, despite its designation as a national historic place. By adapting the Lorraine for multi-use occupancy, with additional residential and commercial development around the Fairmount Metro station, this thesis aims to restore a sense of place to the African-American community, while celebrating its significant achievement in music and theater. It joins the nearby Metropolitan Opera House, Freedom Theatre and Blue Horizon as living legacies along the newly dubbed "Avenue of the Arts."