September 30, 1992 |
"Far above the great auditorium, just under the roof of the new convention hall, there is being installed one of the most modern organs in America . . . Of all the marvels of the new Municipal Auditorium, now rapidly reaching completion, the organ will not be the least. " - Philadelphia Inquirer, 1931 Of course, this is Philadelphia, where marvels and other gems are routinely ignored or forgotten. In this case it's not surprising that few people know about the massive pipe organ in Convention Hall in the Civic Center complex.
November 11, 2004 |
If one man's trash is another's treasure, the interior of the soon-to-be razed Convention Hall at the Philadelphia Civic Center is yielding enough good stuff to fill Fort Knox. "It's the penultimate, the nirvana of architectural salvage," said Mark Foster, who has anted up half the labor costs to save as many of these gems from the landfill as possible. "It is laden with material that will never be produced again. " What kind of material? Joseph A. Weidle, executive vice president of Modern Construction Management, of Bensalem, who is supervising union workers at the site, doesn't hide his enthusiasm as he navigates the dimly lit halls of Convention Hall, pointing it all out: Dozens of chandeliers; leaded-glass windows; intricate brass radiator covers; fluted marble columns; and the end seats, scoreboards and maple floor of the auditorium where the Atlantic Ten played basketball and FDR was nominated for his second term as president in 1936.
February 9, 1989 |
The scoreboard at Convention Hall read La Salle 111, Visitors 91, the score of the Explorers' victory over American last Sunday. Banners detailing the accomplishments of all-time Explorers greats Tom Gola, Michael Brooks and Ken Durrett were hung at the top of the stands overlooking what will be midcourt. And when the doors from the room housing the press conference to announce La Salle's move from the Palestra to the Civic Center swung open to the sight of the new Explorers Room and the sounds of the La Salle band, all that was left for the move to be complete was the first home game next season.
July 14, 1988 |
The man approached Howard Lanin with a fistful of currency and an offer to share the wealth. "In about an hour," the man said, "we'll be walking out. All you've got to do when I give you the signal is play 'Dixie,' and this is yours. " He thrust the bills at Lanin. Howard Lanin told the fellow to get lost. And so the famous Southern segregationist walkout from the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, which occurred 40 years ago today, took place without benefit of musical accompaniment.
January 12, 2008 |
In this nearly all-Victorian beach resort, some residents were shocked that plans for a $10 million beachfront convention center didn't include a fancy porch or even a single carved turret. But its designers had not looked that far into the past for inspiration. Instead, the two-story facility that is to open by 2010 will borrow elements from a convention center that was built in 1917 and then flattened by the great March storm of 1962. "I was surprised that when it was announced we would be replacing the existing Convention Hall, talk began to center among residents about the 1917 building," said Skip Loughlin, chairman of the Cape May City Historic Preservation Commission.
November 16, 2010 |
In eight days, when a four-ton wrecking ball begins to pummel it like a Broad Street Bully, the Spectrum, a landmark arena that launched a sporting renaissance in Philadelphia, will crumble into oblivion after months of pre-demolition ballyhoo but almost no opposition. Its impending demise points out something contradictory about this sports-mad city: No matter how rich their history, Philadelphia venues such as Convention Hall, Connie Mack Stadium, Municipal Stadium, the old Arena, and now the Spectrum seem to be expendable in a way that more historically authentic or architecturally appealing structures often are not. While threats to old and ornate buildings or to prized works of art (remember the battles that kept Thomas Eakins' The Gross Clinic and Maxfield Parrish's Dream Garden in Philadelphia?
November 5, 1998 |
The sound that fills the cavernous hall on the Boardwalk is so large, so magnificent, so stirring that it would seem only the ocean a few steps away could surpass it in grandeur. Internet rumors to the contrary, the largest pipe organ in the world has not been walled up inside the old Convention Hall on the Boardwalk. Its eight pipe chambers have not been converted into meeting rooms. Its parts - both massive and intricate - have not been consumed by flood. Just ask the 8,000 screaming boxing fans who on Halloween night heard the organ played for only the second time this year, heralding the entrance of preening featherweight champion "Prince" Naseem Hamed in true Phantom of the Opera style.
May 26, 1994 |
While two battalions of firefighters were quelling a fire that seared a section of the roof of the famous Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, their off-duty counterparts were across town to witness City Council's approval of a contract that raised their pay. The fire, according to officials, may have been started around 2 p.m. when sparks came in contact with roofing materials as welders were installing a new section of the circular peaked Convention...
August 31, 2004 |
The Republican National Convention's unscripted moments last night came from filmmaker Michael Moore, whose movie Fahrenheit 9/11 skewers President Bush and the war in Iraq. Moore, who is writing a convention column for USA Today, caused a minor stir when he tried to enter the convention hall as a member of the press. After some confusion over the credentials for his security guard, Moore was escorted to the press seats. Republican catcalls began to erupt in his direction.
December 10, 1987 |
The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority yesterday hired a pair of politically connected law firms to work on its impending $200 million bond issue. The firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll will be the lead bond counsel for an undetermined fee. The firm was among Mayor Goode's largest campaign contributors at $25,000. Atkinson & Archie will be the minority bond counsel. Nolan Atkinson is Goode's personal attorney, and the firm contributed $7,000 to his campaign.