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

Why you might see fewer workers in grocery stores, even after the pandemic | Inga Saffron

Policy experts worry that whole categories of jobs could be phased out at the exact moment when the world economy is imploding.


Plans for a North Philly police station make even less sense after the George Floyd protests | Inga Saffron

A $20 million building project raises questions about Mayor Kenney’s spending priorities.


Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift | Inga Saffron

"People over property" is a great as a rhetorical slogan. But as a practical matter, the destruction of downtown buildings in Philadelphia - and in Minneapolis, in Los Angeles and in a dozen other American cities - could be devastating for the future of cities.

Philadelphia struggles to adapt summer’s rituals to pandemic’s reality | Inga Saffron

Can the season of sun, fun, and crowds survive without the crowds?


No playground? No problem. Philly architect built a treehouse in his rowhouse yard, and you can, too.

A DIY project enables three children to play together while still practicing social distancing — and it has the extra benefit of keeping them out of their parents hair for a while.


Will we ever work in the company office again? | Inga Saffron

What happens to the corporate office can potentially reshape the downtown office district as we know it, depopulating gleaming trophy towers and further depleting the tax revenues of American cities.


The North Philly megachurch that replaced the city’s lost cathedral of baseball

We may be pining for baseball and the lost season, but we can still enjoy the architecture of ballparks and a church that looks like one.


Philly’s downtown is a ghost town. What will it look like when the virus subsides?

Center City is likely to bear the economic brunt of the virus. If people have fewer reasons to make the trip, can downtown remain the democratic meeting ground it has always been, where people of all incomes and backgrounds come together to work, shop, eat, be entertained, and just gawk?

Discovering my grandfather, the bank robber, on the 90th anniversary of America’s worst prison fire

Learning about the death of my grandfather gave me new insight into my father’s life — and my own.

Civic groups call on Mayor Kenney to close Parkway lanes to relieve crowding at Schuylkill park

Philadelphia needs to relieve the pressure on the city's heavily used riverfront parks and nature trails, advocates say.