Signage, Spaces and Surfaces: Can Vintage Philadelphia be Saved?
Building Philadelphia 2021 Spring Speaker Series


Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided one hour prior to this virtual lecture. 

This lecture will be recorded and a replay will be available to registered participants.

"Signage, Spaces, and Surfaces: Can Vintage Philadelphia be Saved?"

presented by Kenneth Finkel, a professor of history at Temple University. He is author of several books and exhibition catalogues on 19th-century photography, graphics and architecture. Finkel’s first book, Nineteenth-Century Photography in Philadelphia was published in 1980. His most recent book, Insight Philadelphia (Rutgers, 2018) is drawn on his nearly 300 essays at the PhillyHistory Blog. Before joining Temple, Finkel was curator of prints and photographs at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Program Officer at the William Penn Foundation and Executive Director of Arts & Culture Service at WHYY. Finkel has served on the board of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, the advisory council at the Wagner Free Institute of Science and is Vice President of the Association for Public Art.

After nearly a decade of deep looking in the Philadelphia City Archives, historian and essayist Finkel discusses persistent impressions, emerging narratives, and hopes for the future of the city's complex visual past.


$15 | General Admission

$12 | Alliance Member 

Free | Students*

If you have been affected by the pandemic and would like to attend these virtual lectures but cannot afford to do so, please email Vinni Cheng for complimentary access.

*For students, please email photo of valid student ID to Vinni Cheng to register.

View speaker schedule at