Here is a fascinating look at the life and death of the Tidewater Grain Elevator in Philadelphia. It is a well researched article, which our readers should enjoy. Particularly illuminating are the comments. This blog delves into industrial and architectural history from a refreshing perspective, and is well worth exploring.

The Necessity for Ruins

“Philadelphia used to have a lot of industry. Not so much anymore.” –Harry Hagin, site superintendent, Camden Iron and Metal, 12/19/07


At 7AM on Sunday, demolition charges will echo throughout the refineries and tank farms of South Philadelphia as scrap dealers Camden Iron and Metal implode the headhouse of the last of Philadelphia’s great grain elevators, the Tidewater Grain Elevator at Girard Point. This will leave only the former Reading Company/Tidewater Company elevator at 20th and Shamokin St. to witness to the city’s history as a grain entrepot.

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2 comments on “

  1. Linda Laird says:

    Great information. An interesting book that was published last year is Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the Worlds Most Common Man-Made Material by Robert Courland. It doesn’t include any information about grain elevators but does give an understanding of what works and doesn’t work as the elevator’s age. I had not understood the devastating relevance of rebar in the American landscape until I read this well written book.

  2. kocart says:

    Here is another wonderful view of the end of this elevator, showing all aspects of its demolition.

    This narrative is also extremely interesting, concerning the history of this elevator.

    Here is a youtube video of the demolition.

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