Much of Ebenezer Burgess Warren’s work is still visible today throughout the streets of Philadelphia. The blocks of 20th and Spruce and 21st and Walnut still serve as the boundaries for much of the buildings that Ebenezer worked on or developed. During Warren's career, this area was newly expanding and home to a rising affluent community. Today, these blocks still posess an association with wealth, as evoked by the prestigious Rittenhouse address.
In November of 1980, the Clio Group, Incorporated, completed a Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form for the PA Historical and Museum Commission. The residences of 2009-2021 Spruce Street were described as:
“Four-story brownstone-faced rowhouses have paneled double doors set in rusticated, round-head openings with keystones. The 2/2 double hung windows, which decrease in size from the 1st to 3rd stories, are set in rusticated segmental openings with keystones…All seven houses are capped by convex, slate covered mansard roofs with two dormers apiece.”
Furthermore, the historic significance is stated as: “2009-2021 Spruce are part of a well-preserved late-19th century streetscape.” Condition was considered “above average” while integrity was stated as “average”.
North 2000 Block of Spruce Street
Photo Courtesy of A. Casale 2005
On February 8, 1995, the Philadelphia Historical Commission designated the area as "The Rittenhouse Fitler Residential Historic Distric"t. This protects the area against “inaccurate or unsympathetic alteration and against unnecessary demolition, particularly in the context of a district, offers some assurance that the character of a resource and its setting will be preserved or improved.” Additionally, the Historical Commission cites enhanced resale values and community pride as additional positive outcomes of the historic district. Restrictions include mandatory Commission review for all proposed alterations.
Today, the work of Ebenezer Burgess Warren as seen throughout the Rittenhouse-Fitler Residential Historic District, is still evident. This area is comprised of a dense mix of residential and institutional buildings. Inclusive and articulate, the streetscape serves as a cognizant link between the buildings of the past, present, and future.
Sources courtesy of Philadelphia's Historical Commission, Historic Resource Survey, the Clio Group