Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Then and Now: Charles C. Harrison Building, Northwest corner of 10th and Market Streets, Philadelphia


The Charles C. Harrison Building at 10th and Market Streets was commissioned in 1893 by Charles Custis Harrison, a Philadelphia-born industrialist who had amassed a significant fortune as one of the founders of the Franklin Sugar Refining Company. The architects, the nascent Philadelphia firm of Cope & Stewardson, had recently completed a number of campus buildings for Bryn Mawr College. Interestingly, both parties were destined to spend their next few decades working in the milieu of academia.

In 1895, Harrison was inaugurated as Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, a position which he held until his resignation in 1910. During his tenure, Cope & Stewardson were recruited for six of the University's major campus additions - including the Quadrangle and Law School buildings. During that time, the firm was also awarded a number of major commissions at Washington University in St. Louis and subsequently, Princeton University. Today, the firm is best remembered for its many contributions to American collegiate architecture, and the Charles C. Harrison Building was one of only five commercial structures ever designed by their practice.

The Harrison Building changed hands multiple times and went through several exterior and interior alterations during its lifetime. In 1941, the first two floors of the exterior were wrapped under a white marble facade, shown in the photo above. In 1978, the structure was condemned by the city's Redevelopment Authority for the westward expansion of The Gallery at Market East and the construction of Market East Station. The building was demolished the following year, and The Gallery II opened in its place in 1984.

A vertically aligned comparison may be found here.


1. "Charles C. Harrison Building, 1001-1005 Market Street." Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PA,51-PHILA,520. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hh:1:./temp/~ammem_DRuX::.
2. Joyce, J. St. George, ed. Story of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Harry B. Joseph, 1919. Google Books. 30 Mar. 2009.
Original photo: James L. Dillon & co., inc. "PA-550-2: South (front) and east elevations." 1979. Historic American Buildings Survey. American Memory. The Library of Congress. 30 Mar. 2010. http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/pa/pa0800/pa0809/photos/138979pv.jpg.

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