Philadelphia's Gilded Age with Reid Addis - Context Travel

Philadelphia's Gilded Age with Reid Addis


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Join an architect on a journey through a fascinating part of America and Philadelphia's history. The period from the 1870s to around 1910 in America saw unprecedented growth and major changes to society. America went from an agrarian to an industrial society. The Civil War created a new class of wealthy businesses and the people behind them. It also led to the growth of the railway systems, structural steel, the elevator, the telephone, and increased travel. A middle class was also created that had leisure time, and so needed entertaining. Circuses, professional sports, and music began to fill that void. There were also two World's Fairs held in America as well.

We'll discuss the impact of all these changes on the visual eye and architecture. Buildings were erected that not only used these new technologies but introduced new styles from Second Empire Baroque to Gothic and Romanesque Revivals, to a rich new High Victorian Gothic style. We'll meet the shakers and movers of this time and see some of the amazing structures they created, many of which still stand.

Led by architect and long-time Philadelphia resident Reid Addis, we'll see the period brought to light by knowledge and expertise. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a profound understanding of how this period in time made substantial changes to Philadelphia.

Reid Addis is a Registered Architect who has lived in the City of Philadelphia since 1978. While practicing architecture, he began teaching courses from 1980-1990 at Temple University, including a course on the History of Philadelphia Architecture. After taking a walking tour with famed City Planner Ed Bacon, Reid was inspired to give his students similar tours of the city. Currently residing in the Old City area of Philadelphia, Reid would love to introduce you to his city.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.