2013 Spruce St.; 1986- courtesy PA Historic Commission 2124 Walnut Street; 1986 courtesy PA Historic Commission 20th & Spruce Streets; 1986 PA Historic Commission 1920 Spruce St.; 1986 courtesy PA Historic Commission
 
PHILADELPHIA BUILDER  
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Spruce Street

 

North Side of Spruce Street in between 20th and 21st Streets

Photo Courtesy of HABS date unknown

Spruce Street

Photo Courtesy of A Casale 2005

 

2013 Spruce Street

Photo Courtesy of Phildalphia Notable Philadelphians 1901

 

 
 

 
 

Spruce Street

On January 13, 1871, Thomas E Ashmead and William F. Weaver deeded property in the 8th Ward to builder E. Burgess Warren. This plot of land was situated south of Locust Street and east of Aspen Alley between Schuylkill Front and Schuylkill 2nd Streets. The lot was sold to Warren who placed the highest bid of $6300. Warren was at one time or another, in posession of various pieces of land in the 8th Ward. According to his receipt books, he both worked on and commissioned work for multiple rowhouses along the area that is modern-day Spruce Street. Some of this work consisted of digging and carpentry work at properties on 20th and Spruce Streets. At the location of 2028 Spruce Street he had work completed on a party wall.

Perhaps his most well-known work is his own home, which was constructed at 2013 Spruce Street in 1868. Warren resided here until his death on January 17, 1917. His daughter, Helen, continued to live on at the Second-Empire brownstone with her husband, Dr. Alfred Reginald Allen.

Another of Warren's notable works is a building that now houses the Academy of the Vocal Arts, located at 1920 Spruce Street. To learn more of this building and his home, please click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Courtesy of PA Historical Soceity, Warren's receipt books, deed books, Social Register 1917

 

Residents

By examining the residents of Warren's projects, it is possible to garner further insight in regards to the scale and the quality of his work.

Who are these clients, why did they move here, and what is the significance?

1920 Spruce Street: Randolph & Elizabeth Wood (R.D. Wood Shipbuilders)

2013 Spruce: E. Burgess Warren (builder)
1861 Residence: 1211 Race Street

2041 Spruce: James F. Sullivan (Sullivan & Brothers- Importers of Hoisery, Gloves, and Notions)
1879 Residence: 839 N. 11th Street
1885 Residence: 1800 Spring Garden Street
At some point between 1879 and 1938, moved to Radnor Township into "The Woods", built by Horace Trumbauer

2043 Spruce: G.W. Banks (Bailey, Banks and Biddle- Jewelry)
Bailey, Banks and Biddle located at : 1802 Locust Street

2045 Spruce: Joseph H Seaver (Broker)
1879 Residence: 602 N. 22nd Street

2047 Spruce Street: Walter K. Ludwig (Kelly & Ludwig- Machinist Tools)
1880 Residence: 843 N. Broad Street

It may therefore be ascertained that Warren's clients (as well as himself), were thriving businessmen with successful practices and retail stores. As the city's center shifted westward, they relocated their residences to the 2000 block of Spruce Street to parallel the geographic reorganization of Philadelphia's center city.

Information courtesy Philadelphia City Archives, 1879, 1880, 1892 City Directories.

 

Links

1920 Spruce Street

2013 Spruce Street