Places in Time: Project 1: Anna Blinn and Claire Mahler

Maps

6th Ward: North side of Arch St. between 4th and 5th.

All these maps where digitally photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

This map is the first detailed map of our block, published in 1860. It is part of a larger collection done by Hexamer and Locher of the whole city for fire insurance purposes. The small dots and the overall shading of each building signify the construction materials and function. One dot denotes a First Class building (most likely to withstand fire). Similarly, two, three or four dots denote 2nd, 3rd and 4th class buildings. If the dot is filled in black, it is either a house or a store, but not a combination of house and store. If the whole building is shaded blue, it is a brick or stone store. If the building is shaded pink, it is a brick or stone dwelling. If the dot(s) is not filled in, the building is a brick or stone dwelling or industry with a store on the first floor. If the building is shaded tan it is wood-framed. These classifications were to help fire insurance companies assess the risk of buildings in the city, but they also help us know the residential and commercial distribution, as well as construction materials. This map also shows us the footprint of all the existing buildings on the block at this time. We can see that except for the buildings from 413 to 419 and the buildings at the east end, the block is still primarily residential with a row house and multiple buildings in the courtyard in the rear. (Maps of the city of Philadelphia / surveyed by Ernest Hexamer & William Locher. Philadelphia, Pa. : E. Hexamer & W. Locher, 1857-<1860>. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


This map was published in 1885. Most notable are the dwellings that remain unchanged from the 1860 Hexamer and Locher map. The large "B" marked on most buildings means it was constructed with bricks, while the "W" means it was constructed with wood-frame. This maps indentifies by trade the industrial establishments in the block at this time. (Atlas of the city of Philadelphia. From actual surveys and official plans of the Survey Department, by Geo. W. & Walter S. Bromley. Philadelphia, G. W. Bromley, 1885-1894. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


Published in 1896, this Bromley Map looks very similar to the 1860 Hexamer and Locher as well as the 1885 Bromley. Most of the dwellings remain unchanged, while the larger commercial buildings also remain unchanged. The pink shading indicates brick contruction and the yellow indicates wood-frame. The gray shading on the facades of 401-407 and 415 indicates a stone facade (most likely decorative). 409, a lot that was occupied by a residence in 1885, is now occupied by a building extending the full depth of the block. (Atlas of the city of Philadelphia central business property : from actual surveys and official plans / by George W. and Walter S. Bromley. Philadelphia : G.W. Bromley, c1895-1896. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


This Hexamer map, published in 1901, indicates a vast growth in the manufacturing establishments on the block. Because this is a Hexamer and Son map, it is similiar to the 1860 map in terms of decoding. All of the buildings have a single un-filled dot indicating that they are buildings with a dwelling or industry on the upper floors and a store on the first floor. The shading of the buildings refers to the structure's risk of fire and construction material: pink indicates a brick or stone building; blue indicates a brick, stone or iron wholesale building with store; green indicates a specially hazardous brick, stone or iron building; yellow indicates wood-frame construction. This block has quite a few buildings shaded green, possibly reflecting the types of materials produced and their susceptability to fire (paper and textile materials) as well as the age of the building and its susceptability to fire in that respect. In addition, this map provides each building's number of stories (the number underlined near the street facade). (Insurance maps of the city of Philadelphia / surveyed and drawn by Ernest Hexamer & Son. Philadelphia, Pa. : The Firm, c1901. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


This map, published in 1908, does not provide as much detail as the 1901 Hexamer, but it does show the consolidation of several small buildings in the northwest corner. This map is unique in that it provides the owner's name. (Atlas of the 6th, 9th & 10th wards of the city of Philadelphia : from private plans, actual surveys & official records / compiled and published Elvino V. Smith. Philadelphia, Pa : E. V. Smith, 1908. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


Published thirteen years later by Smith, in 1921, is a map very similiar to Smith's 1908. Both maps indicate land owners. One this later map, we notice that the ownership has changed slightly with Ketterlinus owning increasingly more of the property at the east end of the block. The pink shading indicates brick construction while the gray shading indicates stone or reinforced concrete. In the case of the Ketterlinus building at 401, we know it is reinforced concrete based on other sources. The building owned by Buck in the northeastern corner of the block may be reinforced concrete or it may be just stone and iron construction. The facades on the buildings at 415-419 are likely to be stone, since this is the same building that was built in 1866. (Map of Philadelphia, Camden and vicinity : compiled from city plans & personal surveys. Philadelphia, Pa. : E.V. Smith, 1921. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


This 1939 map presents a new set of symbols pictured in their Table of Contents to the right of the map. All of the buildings on our block have an "M," some in conjuctions with an "O" and others with an "S." This indicates that by this point, all of this block's buildings served a manufacturing purpose in conjunction with either offices or stores. (One hundred per cent "intra city" business property atlas of Philadelphia, Penna. This atlas will embrace the fifth to tenth wards inclusive, and the 14 principle [sic.] outlying business centers in Philadelphia. Compiled from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Philadelphia, Frankling Survey Company, 1939. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


The Sanborn Company published the map as we see it here in 1958. Sanborn had a unique way of updating its maps by sending out changes on pieces that could be stuck to the last version. The result, as we see in this map, is a collection of changes over several decades stuck on top of each other. Sanborn's map indicates notl only the type of contruction, number of stories, but also the year it was built. The large "SF" on many of the buidlings indicates it was both a store and a factory. The pink shading indicates brick construction. The orange indicates fire-proof construction, assumably reinforced concrete as in the case of the 401 Ketterlinus Building. The various other symbols reference fire safety features within the buildings. This map shows approximately the way the block looked at its demolition in the 1960's. (Insurance maps of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (year viewed: 1958). New York : The Sanborn Company, c1916-. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


Jumping 46 years to 2004, this map shows the vast change that occurred in the 1960's with the demolition of the entire block, Appletree St. on its north side and the block above Appletree St. The U.S. Mint was built in 1966-67. It is shaded orange indicated that it is of fire-proof construction. (Insurance maps of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (year viewed: 2004). New York : The Sanborn Company, c1916-. Photographed at the Free Library of Philadelphia)


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