Market Street 1901-1950
1. Photograph of 315-321 Market Street courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1. c. 1905 photograph of construction of subway. Courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania
3.Detail from Baxter's Panoramic Business Directory of Philadelphia for 1860 from Places in Time

Records from Philadelphia business directories show that by the early 1900s, all of the buildings on the northern side of the 300 block of Market were occupied by businesses (see image 1).

With the expansion of the city to the new suburbs, the 1908 construction of the Market Street subway was critical in creating easy access to downtown, allowing it to remain an important center of business (see image 2).

Technological advances were also occupying the very buildings of 300 block of Market Street. In 1910 a modern theater showing live performances as well as movies opened up at #333, and one of Horn and Hardarts famous Automats was located just a few doors down at #339. It is interesting to note that in some cases, the advances in technology did not always help the block.

The 1930s brought about difficult changes for the entire country and the 300 block of Market Street was no exception. It is interesting to note however, that our blocks decline could have actually started before, thanks to the consequences of city planning decisions. The 1926 construction of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge was intended to facilitate access between New Jersey suburbs and Philadelphia - which it did - but in the case of our block, the new bridge may have done more harm than good. In her publication Historic Structures in the Redevelopment Process; Market Street East, Philadelphia, Lisa Marie Kolakowsky argues that because of how the traffic flow was planned, cars crossing the bridge into Philadelphia arrived at 6th and Callowhill Streets, northwest of 3rd and Market (1). Previously, people arriving to Philadelphia from New Jersey did so on a ferry that dropped them at the eastern most end of Market Street, therefore causing them to walk westward, passing the many shops and businesses located along the street.


1. Lisa Marie Kolakowsky Historic Structures in the Redevelopment Process; Market Street East, Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania) 1997, p. 11.

3. Photograph of 301 Market Street as it appeared in 1914. It is one of the only original buildings remaining on the block today. Reprinted in Joseph Jackson (1918) p. 43.
3. 1902 photograph of 301 Market Street from the Jane Campbell scrapbook collection. Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania