Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hanging Lilas and Vines

Two views of the charming and beautiful scape of the indoor Roof Pergola...
The Roof Pergola

High atop the Bellevue-Stratford sat an oasis of perfumed flora and fauna, fountains playing softly amongst growing vines and grassy floors… The Roof-Pergola was nothing short of spectacular!

The room itself ran along the Nineteenth-Floor along the expansive Broad Street facade. The walls were pale concrete and paneled simply with thresh-holds of paneled double-doors to the North and South Staircases. The ceiling above was traditional Japanese pergola style with wooden beams of high-quality material and soft lighting. The ceiling held up by concrete and plaster-ornamented columns. The entire room was filled and maintained with fresh flora and fauna, sweet smelling plants amidst playing fountains and potted palms and concrete urns with bas-relief and decoration. The floors were laid out with real grass and seating arrangements in the form of concrete decorative benches and chairs dotted the blueprint of the floor. Beneath this grass carpet was Grueby tiling in intricate patterns and design. The windows with wooden enameled paneling gave spectacular views of Broad Street and the high-rises developing in Philadelphia’s progressive skyline! The ambiance alone was enough to attract anyone with its serene majesty and beautiful effect.

Unfortunately, like everything that was original and built exclusively for the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, the Roof-Pergola became steadily unpopular. No one wanted to visit the Roof Garden on the top of the Bellevue… The beautiful plants, statuary and decorations were removed and the room remained intact up until 1986.

In the span of a few years, the entire Roof Garden was remodeled from ceiling-to-floor. The once charming Roof-Pergola was demolished and completely refurbished as the “Wine Bar” for the XIX Restaurant and Cafe’. The disregard and complete ignorance of the Rubin Co. when they demolished it shows utter contempt for architectural and interior preservation and restoration!

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