Would you believe me if I told you I experienced a magical place in Philadelphia? Well on May 30, 2018 I was able to be captivate in the fullness of all this magic in the Magic Gardens, located on South Street in Philly. How did I find this gem? It wasn’t by luck or happenstance or stumbling upon Disney’s Secret Garden VHS tape... I know VHS. This magical place takes me back to watching Harriet the Spy movie. The one scene where Harriet visits the Windchime Garden and found a lot of cool artifacts and art, I always wanted to visit a place like that. Now that I have I can say this is a place I would go for any artistic inspiration.
Ok, so now that I got done strolling down memory lane, let’s get on with the topic at hand. My good friend Qiana told me about the Magic Gardens last week. We sat and looked at some artistic videos on YouTube that talked about visiting the city of brotherly love.
One piece that caught my eye was the Magic Gardens created by the mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. I was enthralled with this 3,000 square foot artistic wonderland. So, Unveiled Filmzs/Every Day Woman and I decided to pay a visit to Philly’s Magic Gardens.
Despite the bumpy roads of Philly, getting to this destination was worth the wait. As you approach the garden as you lay your eyes on the outside, you just want to see what’s inside. Walking in, I felt amazed how Mr. Zagar was able to build this captivating creation. I wanted to find out more so before I walked outside, I wanted a quick history lesson. I read about Mr. Zagar and his wife Julia and how they moved to South Street in 1968, when the area was going to be slated for demolition by the city because the area was deemed desolated and dangerous.
Mr. Zagar and his wife Julia were the first people to turn this area into an artistic treasure. From opening their Eyes Gallery on 402 South Street, the first property that Mr. Zagar would create his mosaic to this day, they still showcase and sell the art of Latin-American artists.
Philadelphia's Hidden Gem
But in 1994, the magic happened. Isaiah would go and create several mosaic spaces and public murals. But there was one building he brought the magic out of in South Philly, and that was the Magic Garden, located at 1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Piece by piece for the past fourteen years, he would create what we see today. With the purchase of two vacant lots, he would create mosaic masterpieces, as well as give other artists a place to showcase their work indoors. But in 2002, the landowner of the two vacant lots wanted to sell the land, due to rise in property cost. But what Philly is known for is that brotherly love, so the community banded together, and Mr. Zagar purchased the other two lots. With this purchase, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens was born, and it inspires old and new generations to come together and bring the creative inspiration in everyone.