Jack Wolgin, developer and arts patron, dead at 93

    The giant clothespin at 15th and Market streets stands as the most iconic of Jack Wolgin’s contributions. In the 1970s, he commissioned it for his Centre Square building.

    A major Philadelphia developer and patron of the arts has died at 93. Jack Wolgin helped build the office towers along Market Street that established a business hub on the west side of Center City.

    The giant clothespin at 15th and Market streets stands as the most iconic of Jack Wolgin’s contributions. In the 1970s, he commissioned it for his Centre Square building.

    More recently, he established the Wolgin Prize at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. At $150,000 dollars, it is the largest annual award given to an individual artist in the U.S. Even though he’d suffered a serious stroke, Wolgin himself gave the first award, in October. Terry Dolin, former dean of Tyler, said his mind remained sharp.

    Dolin: He was wonderful at encouraging arts in Philadelphia. He could have gone to NY or to a larger institution, but his commitment to Philadelphia was extraordinary. He had no alumni connection, he just valued the mission of the university and what it could do for the city.

    Wolgin also contributed to the Curtis Institute of Music. A regular orchestral performance series is named after him – the next one is at the Kimmel Center on February 7th.

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