Guarantee Trust and Deposit Company
316-320 Chestnut Street
Built 1873-1875; Demolished 1956-57 
Frank Furness and George Hewitt (firm 1871-1875)


 

Left: From Moses King’s Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians (1901). Right: Philadelphia’s Bank Row c. 1879.The Guarantee Trust and Deposit Company stands between the two cross streets. 300 Block of Chestnut Street. From The Baxter Panoramic Business Directory (1879-1880)
 




Part 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.


Sources Cited:

  • King, Moses. Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians. New York: Blanchard Press, Isaac H. Blanchard Co., 1901. Available on-line at Places in Time web site: http://www.brynmawr.edu/iconog/king/main.html
  • 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.
  • O’Gorman, 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.
  • “Local Affairs,” The Public Ledger, June 4, 1873
  • Philadelphia Architects and Buildings web site: http://www.philadelphiabuildings.org/pab/app/pj_display.cfm/234

For additional information and references, see the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings web site: 
http://www.philadelphiabuildings.org/pab/app/pj_display_citations_holdings.cfm/2346