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Drexel University

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1889–present. Bounded roughly by 32nd, Walnut, and 34th sts. and Powelton Ave.

Long the site of some of Philadelphia's dreariest modern buildings, Drexel's administration has begun to rely on contemporary design, pairing such nationally famous modern architects as Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, Philip Johnson, and Michael Graves with young local architects, in an attempt to enliven the campus. Graves's polychromed dormitory at 32nd and Arch streets recalls the Dutch modernists of the early twentieth century in its bold use of color. An even more interesting scheme is the 2008–2009 Erdy McHenry dormitory— an oval footprint of rooms surrounding a central elevator tower that is sheathed with a rotating surface scrim on a seventeen-story tower facing 34th Street.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Drexel University", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 126-127.

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