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Explore Philadelphia's architectural treasures with AIA Philadelphia's Building Finder. Use your laptop or desktop computer to peruse the many different architectural styles found within the city limits, or use your smartphone to create an impromptu architectural tour of the city. AIA Philadelphia Members are encouraged to login to the site and provide commentary on the buildings found in the Building Finder, creating an untold history of Philadelphia's most recognized buildings. For a more in-depth look at Philadelphia's iconic architecture, visit the AIA Bookstore and Design Center to purchase a copy of Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, published by the Center for Architecture.
1600 Block of Locust Street
1600 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date Constructed: 1848-1908
In the 19th century, many of Philadelphia's finest families lived in elegant mansions around Rittenhouse Square or in fine townhouses nearby. This block of Locust Street is unique because of the number of houses designed by prominent architects.
Italian Renaissance Revival brownstones predominate on the south side of the block. Numbers 1604, 1620, and 1622 have been attributed to Notman. The brownstone at 1618 was altered by Wilson Eyre. The frame of the first-floor window is carved in rich floral motifs with a human face emerging from the swirling leaves.
The two houses at 1631-33, by Cope and Stewardson, reflect the late 19th-century taste for Georgian Revival. The white limestone Beaux-Arts style house at 1629 Locust was designed by Horace Trumbauer. Frank Miles Day assigned the house around the corner at 235 South 17th Street in a medieval style with gables, bay windows and dark brick offset by limestone trim.
30th Street Station
30th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Date Constructed: 1929-34
Architect(s): Anderson, Graham, Probst and White; restored 1991 by Dan Peter Kopple & Associates
Participating AIA Philadelphia Members: Transystems
In exchange for land required by the city for the construction of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Pennsylvania Railroad was given tunnel rights from the Schuylkill River to 15th Street. The railroad then built two new stations: Suburban Station, near City Hall, and 30th Street Station, in West Philadelphia. Both buildings were designed by the successor firm to D. H. Burnham and Co.
Only a few railroad stations as grand as 30th Street Station remain in the country today. Like others of the time, it has an enormous interior waiting room. This room is faced with marble and covered with a coffered ceiling painted in red, gold, and cream. Natural light enters through glass walls at both ends, which contain catwalks connecting the flanking wings of the building.
The exterior has monumental, columned porte cocheres on the east and west facades. Although classical elements are used on the façade, their simple form indicates a compromise between historical styles.
When completed the station contained a chapel, a mortuary, over 3,000 square feet of hospital space, and a landing deck for small aircraft on its reinforced concrete roof.
A. J. Holman Factory
1222 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Date Constructed: 1881
Architect(s): The Wilson Brothers
Bibles have been published continuously in Philadelphia since 1743, when Christopher Saur of Germantown printed German bible, the second bible published in America. Andrew J. Holman formed his bible publishing company in 1872 with two members of the renowned William J. Harding Company, with which he had trained. Within a decade Holman's company had outgrown its headquarters.
The new building is one of the few commercial loft buildings of the period that has been we preserved in it original form. The facade is faced with brick. It is more embellished than the Leland Building, but is still restrained compared with the ornamental treatment of The Wilson Brothers' other projects, such as the nearby Reading Terminal.