With its chunky tower, curvy corners, and antennalike cross, Our Lady of Loreto in Southwest Philadelphia has the look of an early, art deco airport terminal. That's no accident. The small parish church is near Lindbergh Boulevard, on the way to Philadelphia International Airport, and it was designed to celebrate the miracle of flight, of both the religious and technical kind.
Sure, the lines in the marble-paneled post office at Ninth and Market moved at a glacial pace. Sure, the clerks were often uncommunicative and even surly. But what did it matter when there was so much architectural plenty to keep your eyes sated for the entire wait?
Inga Saffron, The Inquirer's architecture critic, writes about architecture, design and planning issues. She was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Her popular column, "Changing Skyline", has been appearing on Fridays in the paper’s Home & Design section since 1999. In 2012, she completed a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.