Both iconic and whimsical, architect Frank Furness has long had a hold on Philly with beloved pieces like the Furness library on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, or the National Landmark building at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
After the architect's death in 1912, there followed decades of neglect, during which many of his works were demolished.
While many of them were torn down in the early to mid-1900s, there are still a few pieces of his still in danger. Most notably (and most recent), is his 1874-built 19th Street Baptist Church, which—despite its stunning serpentine stone facade and historic status—is on track for demolition soon. Part of the reason for its fate is the same as other Furness buildings: it’s crumbling and potentially dangerous.
As Philly waits to see if it will lose another Furness piece, we wanted to take a look back at some of the prolific architect’s earlier works that never made it past the mid (or in a select few cases, late) 20th century.
The buildings are all either located in or near Center City, and are listed in order of date built.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2015 and has since been updated with the most recent information.Read More