A change of venues
When Philadelphia’s Municipal Auditorium was dedicated nearly 80 years ago, then-Mayor Harry Mackey said that the $5.3 million multi-use facility was “an ideal place for the holding of great conventions of political, scientific and educational organizations,” according to the November 1931 issue of The American City. Located in West Philadelphia, the auditorium featured a glass-domed roof and a $60,000 organ, the latter of which Mayor Mackey said was one of the building’s most striking features. The facility also housed 21 meeting rooms, a ballroom, an 80,000-square-foot exposition area located beneath the auditorium, and a dining hall.
The Municipal Auditorium continued to host many historical events and figures until December 2004, when it was demolished to make way for a new building, the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. Up until its destruction, the auditorium, renamed the Philadelphia Civic Center in 1964, hosted five political conventions and figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and The Beatles. The 400,000-square-foot Pennsylvania Convention Center was constructed in 1993 to host modern, larger conventions, and became the site for notable events such as the 2000 Republican National Convention and the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, a favorite among locals and visitors.