Introverted Buildings in Philadelphia
Bell Auto, Poplar and Watts Streets
Although this does have nice patterned brickwork, without that curve supporting those great metal letters, this is a brick box. Who decided to do that? Was it added as an afterthought? Was it noticed/debated/talked about when it was new?
Fascinating combination of colonial-style brickwork and 20th-century “moderne.” Only something so thoroughly American as car culture could pull this off. The bold stainless-steel letters are a lavish touch, but the corner curve beats all. THAT makes it work – for me, anyway.
The sign seems stuck on in a desperate attempt to dress up that corner business. Is the missing letter “R” or mabye (I hope) “GL”? which would make it a super name for a body repair shop.
I don’t think it’s a desperate attempt so much as reassurance. If my car needed bodywork when Bell was in operation, I would look no further. I wouldn’t trust a bodyman working out of a strictly masonry building no matter how great the brickwork. I need proof he has a way with metal.
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