History Archives - Philadelphia Magazine

History

the sound of philadelphia
City Life

An Oral History of the Sound of Philadelphia

In 1971, a lyrically gifted singer-songwriter from South Philly and a classically trained pianist from Camden launched Philadelphia International Records (PIR), a Black-owned hitmaking label […]

City Life

An Architecture Critic Ranks the Five Most Interesting Buildings in Philadelphia

One virtue of an old city like Philadelphia: It contains centuries’ worth of impressive buildings. Independence Hall. City Hall. The Art Museum … whether because […]

historic philadelphia hotels
Things to Do

6 Philly Hotels With Fascinating Backstories

The Notary* Center City Originally designed as the City Hall Annex, the building dates back to 1926. It was where Philadelphians went to get the […]

william penn
City Life

William Penn Only Spent Four Years In Pennsylvania, And Other Strange Founder Facts

This month marked the 340th anniversary of a rather momentous occasion for Philadelphia. March 4, 1681, was when King Charles II of England granted one […]

octavius catto scholarship
City Life

New Scholarships at Community College of Philadelphia Honor Civil Rights Icon Octavius Catto

For too many years, the only memorial to civil rights leader Octavius V. Catto, who was born on this day in 1839, was a public […]

president's house
City Life

The First White House Was Right Here in Philly

This coming Monday is Presidents’ Day, a weird hybrid holiday that used to be just Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on February 22nd, but got moved to […]

philadelphia seafood history
Foobooz

Philadelphia Used to Be a Seafood Town. What Happened?

Back in the 1800s, catfish-and-waffle houses lined the Schuylkill into the Wissahickon. Shad fishing was once so popular on the Delaware, legend has it you […]

1980 phillies
City Life

The Year We Won It All: An Oral History of the 1980 Phillies

It was a different city then, in 1980. Bill Green had just become mayor after eight years of Frank Rizzo’s reign. As Sam Katz (who […]

da vinci art alliance
City Life

How True Is Philly’s History? A Bella Vista Art Exhibit Asks the Question

There is something about living in world-historical times that leads one to reflect on history. Maybe it’s the search for historical echoes. Or maybe it’s […]

City Life

Who Was the Real Christopher Columbus?

The fight over the Christopher Columbus statue in South Philly’s Marconi Plaza sounds simple enough: Either the statue should stay or it should go. It […]

City Life

7 Historic Philly Cemeteries Where You Can Walk and Headstone-Hunt

Sure, cemeteries haven’t always been regarded as the most uplifting of places. But when getting outside while maintaining social distancing is increasingly challenging, people are […]

City Life

The Sad, Seemingly Inevitable History of Blaming Pandemics on “Others”

This isn’t David Barnes’s first time at the pandemic rodeo. An associate professor of medicine and public health at Penn, he’s the author of, among […]

vegan history
Be Well Philly

A Brief History of Philly’s Vegan Takeover

Memo to all the haters: Philly’s greenwashing was a long time coming. (No joke: Benjamin Franklin was writing about tofu all the way back in […]

changing south philly
City Life

Can South Philly Hold On to What’s Always Made It Unique?

In the late summer of 1981, very much against my Catholic mother’s wishes, I had just moved into a rowhouse at 17th and Naudain — […]

south philly quiz
City Life

Quiz: How Well Do You Know South Philly?

How well do you know the South’s quirky neighborhood trivia and traditions? Let’s find out.