Four Square Blocks: Philadelphia


It is a peculiar quality of the district here called Old City that the proprietors of many of its galleries and shops complain about the floors.

They slant.

“It’s always been a problem for us,” said Robert Aibel, the owner of Moderne, a vintage furniture gallery at 111 North Third Street. But “most people don’t notice, unless a piece of furniture looks crooked.”

At the Roche Bobois showroom, at 313 Arch Street, Natalie Suresch, the manager, said the floors tilt four feet from back to front. “You feel like you have vertigo,” she said.

Such are the wages of historicism.

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