Since becoming the Inquirer's architecture critic in 1999, Inga Saffron has been just as likely to turn her eye toward Philadelphia's waterfronts and sidewalks as to the latest glittering skyscraper. She is drawn to projects of all sizes and shapes, but especially those that form the backdrop of our daily lives.

Latest Stories

After 18-month study, Mayor Kenney’s preservation task force offers a few (modest) proposals

A handy, condensed guide to the task force's recommendations on how to manage Philadelphia's preservation crisis.


Did Philadelphia make a terrible mistake getting rid of the Chestnut Street Transitway?

The bus-only corridor was blamed for killing retail on Chestnut Street. Today, Philadelphia is more worried about traffic congestion than losing foot traffic.

After talk with Philly congressman, Amtrak says it may keep flipboard at 30th Street Station

The iconic, clacking, ’70s-era flipboard at 30th Street Station may not go silent after all.Amtrak is reconsidering its decision to replace the electromechanical information board with a digital screen, according to Philadelphia-area Congressman Brendan Boyle.


The building that Ed Bacon thought was too ugly for Society Hill | Inga Saffron

Once the subject of fierce architectural debates, the Old Pine Community Center now sits with ease among its colonial neighbors.


Amtrak, keep the mod flipboard sign. It’s part of your heritage. | Inga Saffron

Installed shortly after Amtrak was created in 1971, the pre-digital information board is part of the railroad's origin story.


Philadelphia Muslims make a statement with opening of new mosque | Inga Saffron

Its architecture blends traditional Islamic elements with a few modern surprises.

The new Frankenstein condos of Rittenhouse Square

In an effort to create more real estate in built-out neighborhoods like Rittenhouse Square and Society Hill, developers are turning to awkward vertical additions called overbuilds.

When Baptists brought modern architecture to King of Prussia

The shape of the American Baptist Convention, as the offices were originally known, grew out the denomination's philosophical commitment to local autonomy.

What the triumphant return of Philly's former Metropolitan Opera House means for North Broad Street

The history of the elegant opera house tracks the rise, decline, and rise again, of North Philadelphia.

Does Philadelphia need another building for contemporary art?

Philadelphia Contemporary selects an architecture firm to design a permanent home just a few blocks from the Institute of Contemporary Art.