300 S. 4th St.

513-515 S. 4th St.

300 S. 4th St./400 Spruce St. (SW corner of Spruce and 4th Sts.)

Taylor sketch, 1861
Thorp, 2004

The historic drawing on the left shows a 3 1/2 story store and dwelling. Below is a table describing the evolution of the lot from 1773 to 1956. In 1773 the property was sold by Joseph Richardson, goldsmith, to George Catton, mariner. The deed mentions a building on the site but doesn't give enough information to identify it as the building shown in the 1861 Taylor sketch. The 1809 insurance policy describes the building shown in the sketch, verifying a construction date of prior to 1809. The property went through a sheriff's sale in 1813 to John Hallowell, who insured it as a dwelling and grocery store. He sold it in 1831 to Margaret McDonogh who is listed at that address in the city directories from 1833 to 1840, with occupation of grocer. She willed the property to Ellen C. O'Reilly, possibly her daughter, in 1867. The property remained in the O'Reilly family until 1922, when it was sold to Joseph McBride. Research was not conducted on the later owners of the property.

It is not known when this building was demolished. The building footprint shown in atlases from 1857 to 1956 appears to be the same, but historic photographs from 1949 show a building drastically different from the one in the 1861 sketch. Because the building is no longer extant, a closer inspection could not be undertaken to conclusively determine whether or not the building shown in 1949 photographs was the 18th century building. The current building was probably constructed in the 1980s.

Links to:

Historic Photographs Atlases City Surveys Fire Insurance Survey Footprints

Chronology

Date
Notes
September 13, 1773

Joseph Richardson, goldsmith and Mary his wife to George Catton, mariner, for the sum of £400 (deed book I 13, p. 201)

“a certain lot or piece of ground situate line and being on the west side of fourth street from Delaware in the City of Philadelphia, containing a breadth on said fourth street nineteen feet and in length or depth eighty feet… [and] all and singular the houses, buildings, improvements…”

(this property includes three different addresses: 300 S. 4th St., 402 Spruce St., and 404 Spruce St.)

December 14, 1809

Mutual Assurance Co. fire insurance policy no. 2886 for Mary Caton

“dwelling house...the said house being nineteen feet by thirty feet, and three stories high” for $1,333.33

(this insurance policy is only for the building located at 300 S. 4th St.)

July 28, 1812

Etienne Nouge and Mary (Catton, widow of George Catton) his wife to Francis Johnson, Esquire, High Sheriff of the City of Philadelphia, for unpaid debt of $2133 and interest of $11.05

“four certain messuages or tenements and all that lot or certain piece of ground”

March 16, 1813

Francis Johnson, Esquire, High Sheriff of the City of Philadelphia to John Hallowell and Rebecca his wife, for the sum of $5450 (deed book I.C. 24, p. 734)

“four certain messuages or tenements and all that lot or piece of ground” measuring 19 feet by 80 feet

September 23, 1813

Mutual Assurance Co. fire insurance no. 3473 for John Hallowell

“three story brick house... occupied as a grocery store ” for $2,000.00

(this insurance policy covers three buildings, the "eastern moiety, western moiety, and back building")

October 1, 1831 John Hallowell to Margaret McDonough, for the sum of $7500 (deed book G.W.R. 22, p. 34)
April 8, 1843

Franklin Fire Insurance policy no. 4437 for Mrs. Margaret McDonough

“three, three story brick buildings, occupied as stores and dwellings” for $3,500.00

April 22, 1854

Amended Franklin Fire Insurance policy no. 4437 for Mrs. Ellen C. O'Reilly

“Alterations have been made to the property...the building described as no. 2”

1857 Atlas Atlas showing three brick buildings completely covering the lot (302 S. 4th St., 402 & 404 Spruce St.)
September 13, 1858

Amended Franklin Fire Insurance policy no. 4437 for Mrs. Ellen C. O'Reilly

“the outside stairway has been removed and a new stairway put up”

1861 Taylor sketch
August 1, 1867 Margaret McDonough to Mrs. Ellen C. O’Reilly, by will
1874 Atlas Atlas showing no changes in footprint, but includes double address for corner building (302 S. 4th St./400 Spruce St.)
April 6, 1877

Amended Franklin Fire Insurance policy no. 4437 for Mrs. Ellen C. O'Reilly

“building is now covered with a tin roof”

1885 Atlas Atlas showing no changes in footprint
1897 Atlas

Atlas showing no changes in overall footprint

302 S. 4th St./400 Spruce St. -- 3 1/2 story, “specially hazardous brick building,” consisting of “carpenter shop” and “restaurant or refreshment saloon and dwelling”

402 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick building consisting of “shoe shop & dwelling” and “milk store”

404 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick building

1915 Atlas

Atlas showing no changes in overall footprint

300 S. 4th St. / 400-402 Spruce St. -- 3 1/2 story brick building consisting of "Tailoring and dwelling"

404 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick building consisting of "Store room and dwelling"

February 10, 1922 Mary O’Reilly, Margaret M. O’Reilly, Isabel O’Reilly, trustees under will of Robert M. O’Reilly (husband of Ellen O’Reilly?), to Joseph McBride
1939 Atlas

Atlas showing no changes in overall footprint

302 S. 4th St./400 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick building consisting of “first floor office, apartments above”

402 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick “store”

404 Spruce St. -- 3 story brick “store”

October 19, 1933 Otto Kraus, Jr. (master, “Joseph McBride since dec’d”) to Mary Glick
1956 Atlas

Atlas showing no changes in overall footprint or usage, but includes addional address of 402 1/2