A First Look at The New Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

The south side of the former Liberty Title & Trust banking hall houses the Aloft Hotel’s check-in desk (foreground) and re:mix, its lounge and “business center.” | Photos: Sandy Smith

Philadelphia’s first W Hotel isn’t set to open until early next year, but its second entry from W’s slimmer stablemate, Aloft, will open its doors to its first guests this Thursday afternoon (Aug. 31st).

The Aloft Philadelphia Downtown Hotel occupies the old Liberty Title & Trust Company building at the northeast corner of Broad and Arch streets — the one building that was spared the wrecking ball when the 100 block of North Broad Street was cleared to make way for an expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Italianate Art Deco tower, it turns out, made a great space for a hotel. The soaring banking floor has been converted into a lounge and bar, and the upper office floors have become rooms with lovely views and a touch of personality lent them by their non-standard layouts. Read more »

Michelle Obama to Speak at Women’s Conference in Philly

Michelle Obama speaking at the DNC. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama will return to Philadelphia this fall to participate in a discussion held as part of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, organizers announced in a release on Tuesday.

The 14th annual seminar kicks off on October 3rd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center with more than 10,000 people expected to attend. The gathering is the region’s largest for women, offering a “full day of networking, inspiration, professional development and personal growth.” Read more »

21 Classic Photos From the Philadelphia Auto Show’s 116-Year History

Mercedes-Benz display at the Philadelphia Auto Show in the 1960’s. | Images courtesy of Brownstein Group

Mercedes-Benz display at the Philadelphia Auto Show in the 1960’s. | Images courtesy of the Brownstein Group

The Philadelphia Auto Show makes its highly anticipated return this weekend—and the event is encouraging guests to, pun very much intended, “Find What Moves You.”

Running from January 28th to February 5th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the show will mark 116 years since its debut in 1902. Over the past century-plus, it has provided visitors with an all-access pass to the automotive industry’s latest creations.

Highlights of the show include displays of pre-production, hot production, exotic, and classic car models. For the first time ever, a Hollywood cars display showcasing vehicles from some of Hollywood’s biggest films will also be available to guests. Read more »

Air Force One (Replica) Touches Down in Philly, Causes Traffic Jam

Air Force One replica at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Air Force One replica arrived at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Monday. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

If you saw Air Force One rolling down the Schuylkill Expressway this morning, you weren’t hallucinating. That really was a replica of the fuselage of the president’s jet coming down I-76 westbound and into Center City this morning.

So many people saw the fuselage, according to owner Jim Warlick, that it caused a gaper delay on the Schuylkill leaving the city today. “They said it caused a traffic jam this morning,” Warlick said. “People leaving the city saw it coming in and were slowing down and taking pictures.” As if Sam Clover doesn’t have enough to report already.

The fuselage, a replica of the Air Force One jet used between presidents Kennedy and Reagan, will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center next week for the Democratic National Convention. Warlick, who runs American Presidential Experience, is also bringing a replica of the Oval Office and a limo Kennedy rode in before being shot and killed in 1963.

The displays are part of PoliticalFest, a celebration of U.S. political history taking place during the DNC next week. Today, Ed Rendell stumped for the seven-site event again. Read more »

Full DNC PoliticalFest Schedule Announced: What to Do and Where

PoliticalFest 2016 - Philadelphia

Last month we told you about PoliticalFest, the festival celebrating U.S. history, government and politics, which will run July 22nd-27th as part of the Democratic National Convention.

Now we can tell you exactly what will be happening at it. The PoliticalFest schedule features exhibits on display at seven different locations, including the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the National Liberty Museum and the National Constitution Center, which will serve as the festival hub.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and are available in person at the National Constitution Center and on the Host Committee’s website. The festival will from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Here’s a list of what to do and where: Read more »