Join us as authors and urban observers Nathaniel Popkin and Peter Woodall discuss Philadelphia and its myriad communities. Their work explores a number of places that have almost disappeared―from workshops and factories to sporting clubs and societies, synagogues, churches, theaters, and railroad lines—and the neighborhoods connected to those places. In Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City, published by Temple University Press, Popkin and Woodall uncover the contemporary essence of one of America’s oldest cities.
Working with accomplished architectural photographer Joseph Elliott, the authors explore secret places in familiar locations, such as the Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad Street, the Divine Lorraine Hotel, Reading Railroad, Disston Saw Works in Tacony, and mysterious parts of City Hall. They connect Philadelphia’s idiosyncratic history, culture, and people to develop an alternative theory of American urbanism, and place the city in American urban history.
Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the web magazine Hidden City Daily and senior writer for the documentary film Philadelphia: The Great Experiment. He is the author of Song of the City: An Intimate History of the American Urban Landscape and The Possible City: Exercises in Dreaming Philadelphia, as well as the novel Lion and Leopard.
Peter Woodall is a former newspaper reporter and producer for public radio. He co-founded the web magazine Hidden City Daily and is the project director of its parent organization, Hidden City Philadelphia.
This program is part of the Libraries' Beyond the Page public programming series.