3711 Melon Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104. Photo by Jeffrey Stockbridge, courtesy of Temple Contemporary.
Bruce Laverty, Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, will lead a trolley tour that explores the lineage of the Philadelphia row home, from the eighteenth century to the present day. Tour stops include Elfreth's Alley, Spruce Street's Portico Row, and Rittenhouse East, with opportunities to enter homes along the way. The tour will conclude with a visit to Mantua, West Philadelphia, the location of May 2014's Funeral for a Home project, before returning to Elfreth's Alley for drop-off.
This programming was developed in conjunction with Funeral for a Home, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Under the stewardship of Temple Contemporary, Funeral for a Home will celebrate the life of a single row home before it is razed. The chosen home, one out of 500 already slated to come down next year, will receive a "funeral" to mark its passing: a free public event that will include a procession of local residents and clergy, youth orchestra and gospel choir performances, and a remembrance service at which neighbors can pay their respects. Funeral for a Home serves as a direct response to years of widespread demolition in North Philadelphia, in an effort to generate critical thinking, discussion, and action around issues of housing redevelopment and preservation.