best toynbee tile unveiling photoessay in the world

Yes I’m still talking about the damn tiles. Today, a photoessay of yesterday’s great unveiling. This includes all known new tiles, except 15th and Race… which was found earlier today. The person pictured is Resurrect Dead documentary collaborator Colin Smith. During the whole unveiling we were approached by 2 bus drivers, 1 woman from Illinois, 1 Action News reporter and several anonymous passers-by.


13th and Market:


12th and Market:


12th and Filbert:


13th and Filbert:


15th and Arch:


15th and Chestnut:


16th and Chestnut:




August 23, 2007 at 8:45 pm - Reply

You gonna be on the news Steve?

I have to admit there’s a certain anxiety in the air with your posts. It’s kind of got me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what new details you post next.

steve weinik

August 23, 2007 at 8:54 pm - Reply

gotta wait for the documentary.

mr. E

August 23, 2007 at 11:41 pm - Reply

the new tiles look great. but I would really love to see a close up on some of the readable side text. the tiles fascinate me but I think it’s mostly because of the extra text. without that I think many would get bored with the tiles slightly varied and yet the same text. I’m looking forward to dead, I cant wait to learn more about the documents they unearthed.

steve weinik

August 24, 2007 at 8:02 am - Reply

Almost all of the side-text is already mangled beyond legibility. While most of it seemed to be existing messages: “harvest you to prison” and “rise up en masse and give you beatings” there were a couple new ones.

Frustratingly, the only legible one was at 15th and Chestnut. There’s a detail shot of it in this post and it says “N.B.C. hellion jews were first to” and then the rest is crumbled.

Tiler really hates those hellion jews.


August 24, 2007 at 8:37 am - Reply

Who knew Mel Gibson was the Philadelphia tiler?

steve weinik

August 24, 2007 at 8:51 am - Reply

while the antisemitism is slightly troubling, it’s only ever been directed at “hellion jews,” and even I hate the hellion jews.

Zoe Strauss

August 25, 2007 at 10:36 pm - Reply

Well, as a hellion jew, I take great offense.

Zoe Strauss

August 25, 2007 at 10:41 pm - Reply

For real, I am thrilled to see the tiles. I love them. Once there was a tile on 76 right at the 22nd st exit before 676 was built. I remember seeing it when stopped in traffic and being amazed at how the tiler could have gotted it on the highway.

I’m looking forward to my resurrection on the red spot planet. Thanks, Steve! The tiles are awesome


duh » Blog Archive » Toynbee Tiles

September 12, 2007 at 8:58 am - Reply

[…] It seems that these tiles are not found only here in Philly. And it seems that there is a definite following of the mystery of them. But the best, most interesting visual documentation of their creation I found here (and in other posts) in the dovate blog. […]

Who’s a Copycat? | What is it?

January 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

[…] a year. The last set that included even rudimentary mosaic elements, borders, and side texts was a run of 8 Philadelphia tiles in 2007. Since 2013, well over 100 tiles have been reported in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Wilmington, […]

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