Market Street between 4th & 5th Streets has always been an important commercial street. Designed to be the major thoroughfare of the city, Market Street housed a series of market sheds designated for retail activity in 1745. This, the establishment of The University of Pennsylvania's first campus on Fourth Street in 1740, and the paving of Fourth Street and westward allowed for continuous growth and development of the area. The 1837 construction of The Washington Hotel, designed to be the most luxurious hotel in the state of Pennsylvania, paired with the placement of the Pennsylvania Railroad's tracks on Market Street in 1859 were indicative of the burgeoning growth in the area. Until 1960, the area was one of much commerce, as the streets were filled with retail spaces. At this point, the fire of 1960 destroyed the Merchant's Hotel and the surrounding buildings. This served as the catalyst for a major redevelopment plan. The Independence Mall Urban Renewal Covenant was created on December 31st, 1963 and created an official commercial district. The plan demolished the small scale buildings in favor of larger new construction. Today, Fourth Street leaves very little indication of the history it once had. The only remnants of the street's former self are two small plaques on the Mikveh Israel Synagogue that now stnads on the former site of the Merchant's Hotel, and a pedestrian walkway between Fourth and Fifth Streets which was once Commerce Street. The area now houses three buildings: Wachovia Bank, which spans the entire block of Market Street, and The Mikveh Israel Synagogue and Holiday Inn on North Fourth Street. The area will remain this way until December 31, 2013, at which point the Urban Renewal Covenant expires.
The Congregation Mikveh Israel was founded in 1740 as a primarily Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. Incidentally, where the current site stands is where the former Washington/Merchant's Hotel stood. The building was originally designed by Louis I. Kahn and the plans dated from 1961-72 in conjunction with landscape architectural plans by Harriet Pattison. However, these plans were never built, and the current building was designed by Harbeson, Hough, Livingston, &看Larson, and built in 1973-75. In 1976, the congregation officially moved its building to the current site on North 4th Street, near its original 1740 location. Additionally, the synagogue runs the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Historic American Buildings Survey,看The Library of Congress.

Jackson,看Joseph. America's Most Historic Highway, Market Street, Philadelphia. 1926. Philadelphia: John Wanamaker.

Philadelphia Buildings. "400 Block Market Street."

Rudolph, Walther J.. "Market Sheds and看Houses." Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900. 1925. Philadelphia: Walther Printing House.

Sinclair, Thomas. Philadelphia As It Is In 1852. 1852. Philadelphia: Lindsay And Blakiston Publishers

The Congregation Mikveh Israel.

The University of Pennsylvania's Architectural Archives.

Holiday Inn, N. 4th Street, 2005 photo by M. Davis
Informationa Sign, Mikvsrael, N. 4th Street, 2005 photo by M. Davis
Map 1-N-3, Current Plat
Market Street, 2005 photo by M. Davis
Louis Kahn's proposed sketch and model for the relocation of the synagogue, 1961
Plaques signaling location of The University of Pennsylvania's original campus. 2005 photo by M. Davis
The present location for the Holiday Inn occupies much of the original land that was owned and occupied by The University of Pennsylvania's first campus. Today, the only trace of the block's history is in the form of two commemorative plaques on the hotel's garage exterior.
Wachovia Bank inhabits the entire span of Market Street between 4th and 5th Streets. This building falls under the covenant for The Urban Renewal看Development Project.