Westcott Scrapbooks


Volume 5
P age 243
June 1882

The United Fireman’s Insurance Company’s New Building on Walnut Street.—

The fire insurance companies are gradually taking possession of the north side of Walnut street, between Fourth and Fifth.  Already five have erected buildings and located themselves in this square.  At No. 431 is the fine granite building of the Spring Garden Company; at 429 is the attractive brown stone edifice of the Reliance Company; at 427 is the rejuvenated front and new rear buildings of the Lumbermen’s Company; at 425 is the ornamental brick front structure of the Jefferson Company; at 421 is the capacious front and severely plain building of the old Franklin Insurance Company, and now the lot numbered 419 is to be covered with a handsome building for the United Firemen’s Insurance Company, of which the following is a description:

            The lot has a front on Walnut street of 22 ½ feet, of which width it runs back a distance of 45 feet, when it widens to 26 feet, the whole depth of the lot being 100 feet.  The ground will be covered with a five-story building, 82 feet in height from the pavement to the top of the finial.  The main material of the front is red granite from Mount Desert Island, most of it polished.  The bricks are to be laid in black mortar and between the heads and sills are ornamented terra-cotta panels.  The building terminates in a peaked dormer, covered with Akron, Ohio, tile.

            The building will contain 25 offices, besides those to be occupied for the business of the insurance company, ranging in size from 25 by 45 feet to 10 ½ by 16 feet, all well lighted by three areas.  Communication will be had with the upper floors by an elevator, handsomely finished in hard woods and operated by a gas engine.  Around the brick elevator well will run a slate stairway to all the upper floors.  The entire building will be heated by steam by direct radiation.  The window frames in front are of oak and the sash mahogany, hung on vertical pivots.  The transoms above are hinged at the bottom, and are divided in small panes around the border only, and filled with random stained glass.  The first story is finished in oak and mahogany.  There are washstands in every room and water-closets on each floor.  The plumbing throughout is complete and scientifically arranged.

            Mr. Willis G. Hale, architect of the new Record building, furnished the plans for this structure; Wm. C McPherson is the contractor for all the work, except the stone work, which is furnished by Edward Law.  The building will be completed during the summer.