Book explores Philadelphia rowhouse architecture innovation, more variation than theme

From Hidden City Philadelphia writer Nathaniel Popkin: "Virginia Restemeyer and E.I. Weiner, the authors of the the welcome new book Hip and Hidden Philadelphia: The Unexpected House in a City of Tradition (Probasco Haus Press, 2012), open their introduction with a deep sigh: 'Yes, Philadelphia is old, and historic, and in many ways still defied by its Quaker reticence. Some of those traits are what make the city interesting, even endearing.' "Like all of us who have grown weary of this withering narrative, which ignores considerable evidence of innovation, foresight, ambition, and (yes) wealth spread over three and a half centuries, they quickly point out there is much more to the story. 'Inside Philadelphia there is another Philadelphia.  This Philadelphia is subtle and subversive…the true sign of a different way of thinking.'

"What counts is that Restemeyer, a sculptor, and Weiner, a journalist and writer, have presented us with forceful evidence of a city of startlingly diverse residential architectural expression, well-beyond the standard rowhouse design.  The houses – each illustrated by a few photographs and a short, well-researched and well-crafted essay – are grouped under broad categories: classics, adaptive reuse, incorporated past, facelift, pioneers, etc."  Full post here.  (Photo credit: Peter Woodall.)