Architectural detail from the Philadelphia Episcopal Parish House

Detail of a grotesque from the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral Parish House.

Just a few photos of a favorite family of grotesques in residence at the Philadelphia Episcopal Parish House on the 3700 block of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

Sadly, their home will soon be demolished to make way for a 25-story apartment tower, their fate unknown. I have to believe they’ll be salvaged, but that does not mean that they will continue to be public.

I work within walking distance of the Cathedral and do enjoy the sound of the bells at lunch, and always give a little nod to the fancy beasties as I pass. I’ll miss them, and hope we don’t end up with the same drab and uninspired architecture that tends to replace the cool and whimsical.

So if you are in the area, be sure to check them out. I hope to take a few more pictures before the end, and will ask around to see if anyone knows what the fate of the fanciful monstrosities is to be.

And be sure to stop by Sitar for some tasty Indian food. It’s just across the street and was recently remodeled. Fortunately, they retained the weird ghostly painting of a faceless spirit wandering over a drab landscape that I’m sure symbolizes something. Unfortunately, my favorite, a painting of a peacock on bright red velvet that I dubbed “the peacock from Hell”, seems not to have made the cut.

Doorway Philadelphia Episcopal Parish House

Front door of the Philadelphia Episcopal Parish House

Detail of Grotesque Above Door in Philadelphia

Detail of the grotesque above.

Grotesque Above Philadelphia Window

Architectural detail above window; each window has different ornamentation.

Detail of Window Grotesque

Detail of above window ornamentation.

Close up of architectural detail above window

Beautiful ornamentation! You will be missed!

Architectural detail

Sigh. They just don’t make them like this anymore. Delightful architectural ornamentation takes a bow.

Click on any of the images for a closer look. I hope to take a few more photos before the wrecking ball visits.

Here is a recent article from the Philadelphia Inquirer: Episcopal Cathedral gets OK to raze historic buildings, erect apartment high-rise, June 10, 2012.