It will be 40 years in June that the Sylvania Hotel closed and converted to budget style apartments. This was the first of the four hotels from the Philadelphia Hotel Company that folded and it marked a disturbing trend in Philadelphia and our cities as whole. The Sylvania was an immaculate budget hotel that the did not drain the wallet of most people. Now decades later, staying at a hotel in Philadelphia or any other downtown area is just way too expensive.
Staying at the Sylvania cost $14 per night, not much considering all you got. The rooms were showing their age but they were large, comfortable. and clean. The black and white television had rabbit ears and bathtub was a modular unit. The lobby had bare white walls with none of the artwork associated with the other hotels. On the east side was the Ritz Lounge. It served lunch, had Happy Hour prices, and closed around 10. The Restaurant was called just that and had a limited menu but all items were well prepared.
Philadelphia lost a real gem when the Sylvania closed in June 1973.