Neon street mural transforms seedy South Philly side street

Percy Street is one of those irregular side streets found in older American neighborhoods like South Philadelphia. Cramped and dark, it became a favorite haunt of ne'er-do-wells until the installation of the neon-infused "Electric Street" mural. Now it's a destination of locals and tourists, and the increased traffic has tamped down the bad behavior.

Streets Dept has the lowdown:

Until the lights of this electric installation were switched on, Percy street, as legend has it, was a rather convenient spot for criminal behavior. Hidden in the midsts of some of South Philly’s most drunkardly bars, a mere three bites away from the Times Square of 24-hour cheesesteaks, the privacy of Percy street offered all those who sought it solace from concerning eyes. This in turn resulted in countless after hour shenanigans, not the least of which included: underaged drinking, prostitution, and short dumping. (I had to Google that too, don’t feel bad.)

There's also a cool mirror mosaic acrosss the street that has great opportunities for selfies or artsy urban photo ops. Here's a Google Maps pin, but if you know the area, it's two short blocks south of cheesesteak mecca Geno's.

South Philly's New Mural: The Electric Street (YouTube / Cory J Popp)

Notable Replies

  1. It's two blocks from Genos?

    Yea, looks like his style.

  2. I may be wrong, but I suspect that it's not neon at all. Those look like flexible linear LED luminaires to me. With proper cold cathode kit, and a proper old-school bit of highly-skilled tube bending, they could have done much smoother curves and far sharper corners. Unfortunately it would also have been incredibly fragile (a similar project in Edinburgh has had to be removed because it's already been smashed twice) so that's another reason to use the LED kit - they can take a bit more of a bash.

    Still, a fun little installation!

  3. Yeah, those lengths are too long for neon or cold cathode and I don't see any standoffs. Not to mention the UL listing on the transformers would mean there would have to be plexiglass at human level.

    Oh, these photos totally show the LED inputs. I agree though, fun installation indeed!

  4. This looks like an ideal spot to set up a Private Investigator's office, or get in to the lucrative Bladerunning business.

  5. hhype says:

    Juts because it is a dark dystopian future doesn't mean it can't be bright and pretty and artistically lit.

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