23 ~ NW Corner Dock & Pear Streets 39 ~ NW Corner Spruce & Dock Streets


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#39 ~ NW Corner Spruce & Dock Streets | Maps & Photography

Comparison of Taylor's 1861 watercolor and a late 19th century photo of the site corner of Spruce and Second streets.

The image on the left shows the site as a provisions store in March 1947. The unusual lean-to structure shown in Taylor's sketch above is barely visible under the canopy. The 1948 map on the right shows neighboring properties.

Views of the Spruce and Dock street corner during the demolition of neighboring buildings in preparation for the Society Hill Towers; about 1960. Note the reemergence of the lean-to structure. Click photo to enlarge.

On the left is an aerial Photograph of Society Hill Towers construction, 1963. Dock Street curves to the right and upward from Spruce at the lower center toward Pear Street (aka Thomas Paine). You can see the building standing alone amongst the demolished urban landscape to its north. To the right is a 1978 Sanborn map showing the structure, labeled "Old Stafford Tavern," isolated in the landscape.

On the left is a contemporary aerial photo of Dock Street, showing the Society Hill Towers looming over the site at Spruce and Dock Streets and Dock Street curving upward to the North.

On the right is a contemporary map of the Dock Street neighborhood where the sites of sketches #23 and #39 are indicated in blue and red, respectively. Park holdings in this historic neighborhood are shaded in green. Note that the names of the streets have changed over time. Pear Street became Chancellor Street in the late 19th Century and was again changed to Thomas Paine more recently. Dock Street near Spruce underwent similar changes, moving from Dock to Little Dock, then Mattis and, more recently, 38th Parallel.

The site today. One of Philadelphia's only surviving period taverns, the structure is maintained by the University of Pennsylvania as a residence for visiting guests. A plaque commemorates the vernacular use of the building as a tavern.