"That, and other buildings on that block, shouldn't have been torn down," McFarland said. "We hope the same thing doesn't happen with the Convention Center."
The white-limestone, 10-story Beaux Arts-style building with the green-and- white terra-cotta dome, just across Penn Square from City Hall, was built in 1908 and housed the Bulletin from that time until 1955. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Preservationists had rallied in 1985 to save the building, even suing the city to try to get a temporary restraining order blocking demolition.
"In losing it, we lost a major landmark that was architecturally and historically important to the city, that fit that corner as no other building could have," Smith said. "The reason it was done is no longer a reason, but a lot of people made a lot of money in the process - demolition guys, asbestos removal guys, property owners . . .
"I want it to be an example of what not to do in the future in this city.
"Philadelphia has to stop haphazardly spending a lot of money to tear down a lot of buildings, buildings of the sort that the city brags about to people
from Pocatello, Idaho, when they try to convince them to come here to a convention or to rub the Liberty Bell," Smith said.
"By the time those people get here, all the good stuff will be gone."