1500 Block of North 17th Street, 1886, Willis Hale

"P.A.B. Widener and William Elkins became wealthy industrialists through their monopoly over the street railway system.  They used their wealth to develop significant portions of North Philadelphia for middle-class families working in the growing manufacturing centers of the city.  Widener and Elkins used Hale to design a number of blocks in the area, including the 1800 and 2300 blocks of West Thompson Street.  This row of houses on 17th Street is typical of Hale’s exuberant style.  The 29 twin houses are of brick with molded brick details, terra-cotta panels and brownstone trim.  Heavy, rough-textured stone surrounds the windows and arched entrances.  Particularly flamboyant are the mansard roofs with stepped gables supported by projecting corbels" p. 73.

 

From Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, Second Edition, Prepared for the Foundation for Architecture, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Group for Environmental Education, Inc.  John Andrew Gallery, General Editor, Published by the Foundation for Architecture, 1994