Inga Saffron has been the Inquirer's architecture critic since 1999. A collection of her columns, "Becoming Philadelphia," was recently published.

Latest Stories

This developer has a plan to save the Painted Bride’s mosaic. The neighborhood wants to stop him.

The design is much more than just a laudable civic gesture; it's also a terrific work of architecture.


Developer’s condos would destroy South Philly’s famed Black ‘Doctors’ Row’ | Inga Saffron

Once home to Black luminaries like architect Julian Abele and Rev. Charles Tindley, Christian has survived decades of neglect. What it may not endure is a perfect storm of zoning and tax incentives.

As we contemplate the end of the pandemic, here’s what we should keep

From working from home to voting by mail to dining by the light of a street lamp, the pandemic has reshaped our worlds in ways that are not all bad. We could even end up learning to love Zoom.


Music barge designed by Louis Kahn could anchor in Philadelphia as a concert stage

One of the architect's last, and least known, projects could add luster to a major mixed-use project in the enormous power station next to Penn Treaty Park.


Philly’s effort to recoup back taxes from tiny nonprofit could cost it something special | Inga Saffron

Is Chamounix Mansion a youth hostel or a hotel — or something entirely different?


Debate over International House highlights what’s wrong with preservation in Philly: Everything is negotiable | Inga Saffron

If a proposed addition is approved, all that would be left is a partial view of the Brutalist building’s facade — the equivalent of someone being buried up to their chest in beach sand.


Philadelphia has an affordable-housing crisis. Biden’s platform has a simple, but radical, solution. | Inga Saffron

Under his proposal, every cost-burdened, low-income family would receive a check to bridge the gap between their actual rent and the rent they can afford. The impact would be immediate.


Don’t count out office buildings yet. Philly developers push ahead with new, pandemic-resistant designs.

A growing number of lab buildings are becoming oases of activity when traditional offices are empty.

Philly officials recommend demolition of historic Rittenhouse Square buildings set ablaze amid unrest in May

The buildings are part of Philadelphia's most prestigious shopping street and part of a historic district.


SEPTA’s new Wissahickon bus station promises better connections. But it could harm a beloved Philly landscape. | Inga Saffron

How do you insert a big bus station building into such a beloved space? Very carefully. That, unfortunately, is not how SEPTA and PennDOT have been proceeding.