Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated with the most recent information.
Philly does the holidays well, as evidenced by all of these places that have really gone above and beyond to deck themselves out for the special season. After all, the city has quite a bit of experience of going all out during the holidays, from Wanamaker’s (now Macy’s) to City Hall to South 13th Street.
But these old holiday photos we found show that some things have changed over the years. Apparently, Reyburn Plaza (now Thomas Paine Plaza) used to transform into a Christmas wonderland for kids. And, of course, the old Gallery Mall in Market East (the future Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia) used to pull its weight during the holiday season, too.
And yet, some things never change. Rittenhouse Square has always had its special tree lighting, and SEPTA’s Jolley Trolley has been a welcome delight for decades.
Here now is a collection of some of the city best holiday moments, ranging from the late 1920s up until the 1980s.