The Southwest Corner

500 South Fifth Street

Through research at the Philadelphia Historical Commission we discovered an entire chain of title (presented here in PDF format) for the property at 500 S. 5 Street. When the building was painted by Taylor in 1861, Mary Woods was the innkeeper at the establishment. Using this information, we tracked down fire insurance information at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. These documents described the building's layout and material as well as naming James Gowen, a wine merchant, as the policy owner. We have transcribed the Mutual Assurance policy dated 1834 for those who are interested in more detailed information. The property was built between 1794 and 1796 by Daniel Shoemaker, a bricklayer. It is described as a three story brick messuage. In 1932 deed transfer refers to the property as both 500 and 502 S. Fifth. The properties were demolished in 1966 due to extreme fire damage. The Hexamer Map of 1860 provides information about how the building was classified. They identify this property as a 4th class brick dwelling with a store underneath and a shingled roof.

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Dina Kanawati

Cynthia Silva

Digital Media 624

Fall 2004