of Chestnut Street’s “Bank Row,” the Guarantee Trust
and Deposit Company was constructed between 1873 and 1875. The bank’s
design was closely related to Furness and Hewitt’s Academy
of the Fine Arts, featuring a central entrance block bordered on
either side by a mansarded pavilion. The building’s brick and
marble façade referred to the Venetian Gothic, and the rational
segmented plan reflected Beaux Arts logic.
An article in
The Public Ledger on June 4, 1873 described Furness and Hewitt’s
design for the bank:
The Guarantee Trust and
Safe Deposit Co. are about to erect a large fine banking house on
the lot fronting Chestnut Street between Carpenters’ court and
Hudson’s alley. The building will be about 57 feet square, and
will be extremely ornamental. The front will be divided into three
features, a central building, with two large pavilions, crowned with
square mansard tower. The prevailing architecture of the first will
be Italian, and it will be built of various colored brick, ornamented
with carved stone and encaustic trimmings. Entrance to the building
will be gained by a large double door in the entry, which is flanked
by two immense windows filled with plate glass and protected by iron
gratings. A belt of smaller windows extends around the building, at
what appears from outside to be the second story, and other windows
are placed in the mansard roof. The interior forms one large room,
and there is no skylight—the numerous windows affording abundant
light and ventilation. The building will be as near absolutely fire-proof
as possible, no wood being used in the construction, wither outside
of inside. The floors will be of brick, supported by iron joists,
and the fixtures of iron and stone.
- King, Moses.
Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians. New York: Blanchard
Press, Isaac H. Blanchard Co., 1901. Available on-line at Places in
Time web site:
- Lewis, Michael
J. Frank Furness: Architecture and Violent Mind. New York:
W.W. Norton and Company, 2001.
- Massey, James
C. “Frank Furness in the 1870’s: Some Lesser Known Buildings,”
Charette, January 1963.
James, The Architecture of Frank Furness. Philadelphia Museum
of Art, 1973
- Thomas, George
E. and Michael J. Lewis and Jeffrey A. Cohen, Frank Furness: The
Complete Works. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991.
Affairs,” The Public Ledger, June 4, 1873
Architects and Buildings web site: http://www.philadelphiabuildings.org/pab/app/pj_display.cfm/234