The John Samuel Naylor Photograph Collection highlights the rich variety of architecture in Chestnut Hill in the era between 1900 and 1910.
The Naylor Photograph Collection is comprised of 125 black and white 5" x 7" photographs representing 80 properties with one unidentified residential structure, Rittenhouse Square in Center City, Philadelphia. Of these 80 properties, 29 structures have been demolished. Many of the 54 structures can be seen presently as in the time of Naylor’s photographs. Since then, some of these structures have been demolished, altered and adapted to the different uses overtime, and exist with some minimal traces of the original structure.
These photographs taken with Naylor's 4"x5" Speed Graflex camera convey his main interest in photographing overall exterior views of freestanding buildings placed in its physical and natural context during the winter or summer seasons with the exception of Rittenhouse Square. These structures are built on cleared farmlands, where many trees and vegetation are now visible. Some buildings are quickly recognizable, however, closer study will show both subtle and major distinctions over the past 90 years. Viewers also can glimpse some of the more ephemeral accouterments of the streetscapes that have disappeared over time - street lamps, fences, paving, and outbuildings.
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