Old City became a magnet destination for artists seeking affordable studio space to live in and create their work. The neighborhood attracted creative-minded individuals and audiences to explore and experience new approaches to the visual and performing arts of that era in what was then Philadelphia’s burgeoning cultural expansion.
Thomas Hine, architecture staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote in 1979;
“…it is a classic example of a kind of ‘gray’ urban neighborhood where new ideas, both technological and esthetic are incubated…”
He highlighted the contrasts of the daily wholesale business taking place on the street, with whom he noted that artists “coexisted nicely”