McKinley's Court
At 2nd and Noble Streets in North Philadelphia, Wilson photographed a courtyard which he names “McKinley’s Court.” Though little information was found about this name, it appears to be the small alley leading to a courtyard with small houses located in between 514 and 516 North 2nd Street (see map below). Census records from 1920 show a great number of immigrants living on this block, mostly from Poland, Russia, and Austria.
P.8513.117 [left]

Photographer's manuscript note on verso: Entrance to McKinley's Court - west side of 2" St. ab ______ [Noble] St. The outline from this point has a distinctly Norman tinge. ["Norman tinge" is crossed out].

P.8513.225 [right]

Photographer's manuscript note on verso: Another view of McKinley's Court. In this little court of six houses the following nationalities are represented: Jewish, Slavish, Hungarian, Polish and Italian. Is it any wonder Israel Zengwell's titel [sic] "The Melting Pot" found favor because of its truth, yet incongruity.

P.8513.176 [above] Photographer's manuscript note on verso: McKinley's Court - 2" St ab ______ [Noble] St. This is undoubtly [sic] the most picturesque court in Phila. Note old Flemish bond brickwork. The old community hydrant is there. The old community entrance - to say nothing of the new community lamp post. Cheese bag hanging on window frame of 2" floor window. P.8513.121
Another photograph captures the fronts of several small houses on Buttonwood Street, on the same block just north and west of McKinley’s Court.  Today, this block of houses and the surrounding ones have been demolished and are now part of an industrial area with commercial buildings (see photo below).


Bromley Fire Insurance Atlas, 1922, pl. 9
Photograph by author, 2005