Save the Painted Bride Mural

Photo by Sarah R. Bloom, 2023

Since the spring of 2018, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens has been advocating to save Isaiah Zagar’s 7,000 square foot public mosaic at the Painted Bride site (230 Vine Street). Due to the many ups and downs of this story, we have begun compiling resources and articles here for archival purposes and for easy public access. It will be updated with information as we receive it.

In January 2021, the Atrium Design Group submitted a proposal to the Philadelphia Zoning Board to build a 7 story apartment building that will preserve the mural in its entirety, and purchased the building in April 2022. The design was unanimously approved, but was appealed by a small group of neighbors, including the owner of Chocolate Works Building. That appeal was granted in June 2022 by a judge, who reversed the approval of the design. The developer is now proposing a short-term rental building which would mean demolishing the current structure and mosaic.

As of September 2023 a demolition permit has been pulled, and although a date has not been set, the developer has requested that the Preservation Team from PMG begin work on the mosaic in preparation of demolition. Our team will remove specific tiles and elements from the mosaic starting in mid-October. It is our hope that these tiles will be able to be used in future mosaics, and we are in talks with the developer to create a memorial mosaic on the new construction. However, it is important to note that the “Skin of the Bride” mosaic by Isaiah Zagar as it looks now cannot be recreated and will be lost.

Read a brief timeline of the Fight to Save the Painted Bride Mural here

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