By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You can take a stroll through Philadelphia of decades past in a new book that sprung mostly from its author’s collection of old postcards.
“Philadelphia: South of Market and East of Broad” is Gus Spector’s fourth book in the Postcard History Series.
He culled through his collection of more than 7,000 postcards, which in the pre-Instagram era, included shots of everyday scenes, many of which have vanished. The cover, in fact, is of a block of buildings demolished to create Independence Mall.
“I have a whole section on Market Street, a whole section on the area south of Market Street, a large area on Old City and Broad Street as well,” Spector tells KYW Newsradio. “Going through my collection, I was surprised to find that I had quite a number of cards from the Italian Market and on down to the Navy Yard.”
When asked what his favorite Philadelphia treasure is, Spector answered Masonic Hall.
“The inside is one of the most gorgeous interiors I’ve ever seen,” he says, “and I think, not only not many Masons have been inside the building, but people in Philadelphia go by to go to City Hall or west on Market Street and have never been inside of there.”
And this book remedies that sort of thing, by taking readers inside the history of some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, postcard by postcard.