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Uncovering A 100 Year-Old ‘Ghost Sign’ in Port Richmond

March 30, 2015


So excited to get the opportunity this weekend to photograph this 100 year-old, two-story hand painted ad that’s JUST been uncovered by Urban Renewal Builders during renovations on one of their projects in Port Richmond.

The ad was for “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” by local baker, Kolb Bakery. Kolb had locations at 10th and Reed, Broad and Butler, and 56th and Market at the very beginning of the 20th century. They were then bought and bounded with a number of other small bakeries in 1911 to form the General Baking Co. [-via Ghost Sign Project and Fading Ads of Philadelphia]

This particular ad sat two-stories tall next to an empty lot on Richmond street in Port Richmond until 1915 when a building arose in the lot covering the ad – meaning the ad is at the very least 100 years old! The building that rose in that lot was recently purchased by Urban Renewal Builders, who are renovating it into apartments and a ground-level coffee shop. (Side thought: YES, let’s all please support a small business revival of Richmond street in Port Richmond!)

Despite being painted over a CENTURY ago, the ad is in such remarkable condition due in part to the fact that it was covered with a layer of horsehair plaster, protecting and hiding the ad until it was rediscovered this past week.

Urban Renewal Builders is currently cleaning the ad and applying a layer of clear protection to it to help keep it around and in good condition for (hopefully) another century.

While the ad is being protected for the future, interior walls are being re-added to the space this week. So, these are likely the last photos you, or I, or anyone else will see of the ad in-full for some time. Though, one lucky person will have the top-left part (the head) in their bedroom, the rest will live in the apartment building’s halls.

Such an incredible history, such a lovely neighborhood. My mom actually grew up in Port Richmond, where my grandparents lived their whole lives. My brother lives their now… THANK YOU to Joseph Livewell, an old classmate of mine from Holy Name in Fishtown, for inviting me to come document this! (Joe is also the owner of the ground-level coffee shop that will open later this year, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that!)


Streets Dept Uber Philly Takeover / Get A Free Uber Ride with My STREETSDEPT Promo Code!

March 20, 2015


Hey guys,

SOOO excited to announce that I’ll be taking over Uber Philly’s Instagram account for the next week to explore my favorite places in Philly to travel to in spring! Today’s a bit of an odd start, but I’m hopeful we’ll get some better weather this weekend…

Be sure to follow @Uber_Philly to see all my travels! And tag any places you think I should visit with the hashtag #UberStreets. (Uber also posted this fun little Q&A with me to the Uber Blog, so feel free to check that out as well!)

And, as an added bonus for all of y’all, Uber is offering all my readers/followers who are new to Uber a complimentary ride for up to $20 using the promo code: STREETSDEPT (just click that link to sign up!)

Full Disclosure: Uber will be paying me for every person who signs up and uses the STREETSDEPT promo code, which I think is awesome. To be completely honest with y’all, it’s hard to find ways to support this passion, this blog, so when I can find ways like this that are a win/win for everyone it’s incredibly exciting!

SIGN UP (click the banner):


<3 <3 <3

Join Me on Worldwide InstaMeet Day (THIS Saturday) at The Woodlands in West Philly!

March 19, 2015


SO excited to join Albert Lee and Hidden City Philadelphia as co-host for Philly’s part in Worldwide InstaMeet Day – THIS Saturday (3/21) – from 5-8pm at The Woodlands (4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104), an equally historic and breathtaking 54-acre 19th-century cemetery in West Philly (SEPTA/bike friendly)…

Pack a picnic, bring your camera, and watch the sun set. Then stick around for some stargazing thanks to Philly Popscope, who will be setting up 3 telescopes! #WWIM11philly

Hope to see y’all there!

God Bless Bines!

March 11, 2015


Iconic Philly sticker artist, Bines, has just sent me a one-of-a-kind sticker of . . . myself… Can not express enough how grateful and honored I am to have Bines do this!

His work recently, as always, has literally stopped me in my tracks… God Bless Bines!!


Awesome New Mural on East Passyunk

March 11, 2015


Sorry I don’t have more info here on the artist, or who funded this mural… Please feel free to comment, if you know!

Either way, really loving this piece.

Old Broads All Around

March 11, 2015


Just realizing that, despite Instagramming about her work countless times, I’ve yet to post any of Old Broads‘ stickers on the blog.

Well, making up for that today… Absolutely LOVE her work!

Shop Streets Dept: Limited-Edition Prints from Inside Penn Treaty’s Abandoned Power Plant Now Available!

March 6, 2015

Smoke StacksMain HallArchway

You may remember that last First Friday I opened a Streets Dept Shop to begin selling limited-edition prints of my photos in monthly curated collections…

This month I’m excited to announce that for my 2nd collection I’ll be selling 5 of my favorite photos from Penn Treaty’s abandoned power plant (in 2 sizes, no less): CLICK HERE to view the prints in the shop!

Thank you again for all the support. I know I’ve been saying that a lot lately, but I really had no idea what to expect when I started selling my photos. You all, however, have erased any hesitation I had about trying this out. The first limited-edition collection received over 60 orders (over 100 prints in total.) I’m so grateful, thank you!



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