Gifts

This Punny Valentine Makes Saving Old Buildings Sexy Again

The folks at Cohere had a Hale of a time coming up with these public displays of affection for a grand old dame.

The Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance gave the Hale Building some love this past weekend. You can now give some love for it to your love on Valentine’s Day. | Photo: Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance

Diamonds are expensive, roses are cliché, chocolate’s fattening (but good for the brain), and you’re going to do that candlelight dinner anyway, so why not give your true love something different this Valentine’s Day?

Like, say, a lovely old building to hold and cherish?

Okay, you can’t actually buy a piece of the Hale Building, though you can lease office space in it. And the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia already love-bombed it last weekend. But you can get your Valentine a greeting card with an elegant line drawing of the 1887 Willis Hale masterpiece now being lovingly restored at Juniper and Chestnut streets.

Photo courtesy Cohere

I’m sure your beau or belle will appreciate the sentiment too: “I Love You to Hale and Back.”

The card and a companion coffee mug are the brainchild of Cohere, the design branding firm located a block to the east in the Bailey Building. The company teamed up with developer Brickstone Realty, which is restoring the building, to produce these love letters with the help of Michael Mastroianni, the local artist whose drawings of local landmarks show up on Instrgram as @citylinedrawings.

“We view the Hale Building as the crown jewel of Midtown Village,” John Connors, president of Brickstone Realty, said in a news release. “When complete it will be the punctuation mark on all that is unique about the neighborhood. It is the last critical link between east and west, finally putting to rest the proverbial Broad Street divide.”

Photo courtesy Cohere

“Our headquarters has been located in Midtown Village for over three years now, and so we’re grateful to play a small part in the restoration of the Hale Building and the neighborhood through our design talents and role as connector,” said Antoinette Marie Johnson, CEO of Cohere, in the same release. “We chose to partner with 13th Street and Open House to sell the merchandise because of their deep commitment to the Midtown Village neighborhood, and are thankful for their support in raising awareness and funds for the Preservation Alliance’s incredible mission.”

All proceeds from the sale of the card and coffee mug go to the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, which had championed the restoration of the Hale Building for several years. Executive Director Paul Steinke had his own mash note for the building in the release: “The restoration of the Hale Building has been exciting for Philadelphians who care about our historic built environment for over a year now. The Preservation Alliance is truly thrilled to see this long-neglected landmark get such a complete and sensitive makeover.”

And if your Valentine feels the same way about this city’s architectural heritage, he or she will absolutely love this token of your affection.

The card is currently on sale at Open House, 107 S. 13th St. The coffee mug will go on sale later this week. The building itself is slated for completion by the end of this year.