1830 - 1899
Scottish-born architect John Notman introduced a succession of English architectural influences to Philadelphia and this country, including the Italianate villa he designed in Burlington, NJ. Notman designed the first Renaissance Revival building in America, the Philadelphia Athenaeum on Washington Square. He was also an important source for the Gothic Revival, the finest example of which is his Saint Mark's Church in Philadelphia.
Partly in response to the need for a centralized government and professional fire and police services, the city consolidated in 1854. It was just the power base needed for Philadelphia to become the nation's leading industrial city. There were no greater symbols of the prosperity and contemporary grandeur at the end of the century than the structures being built on Center Square. William Penn's Quaker sensibilities would have been shaken by the grand scale and ornateness of City Hall and the Broad Street Station. Designed by John McArthur, Jr., from 1871 to 1901, with Thomas Ustick Walter consulting, City Hall is considered America's finest Second Empire public building. It's lavishly decorated with 250 sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder, and topped with Calder's 27-ton cast-iron statue of William Penn. The Pennsylvania Railroad's Broad Street Station train shed was an engineering marvel designed by The Wilson Brothers. Its three-hinged, wrought-iron arched shed (no longer standing) was considerably larger than Reading Terminal's train shed. Reading Terminal, also one of Joseph and John Wilson's designs, now boasts the country's only remaining single-span arched shed, which in 1993 was converted into a ballroom and gathering place for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The mid-19th century also saw the creation of the AIA's Philadelphia Chapter, organized November 11, 1869, by John McArthur, Jr., John Fraser, Frank Furness, George W. Hewitt and Henry Sims. It's the nation's second-oldest AIA Chapter, following New York City's Chapter, begun in 1867. Thomas U. Walter was the Philadelphia Chapter's president from 1870 to 1877, and went on to be the AIA's national president from 1877 to 1887.
As the nation's Centennial grew near, architect Frank Furness began boldly combining High Victorian Gothic sensibilities with references to the coming modern industrial age. One of the best surviving examples of his exuberant work is the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at Broad and Cherry Streets. Combining a number of references in the facade, from the French-inspired mansard roof to the English Gothic pointed arches, the Academy is a rollicking celebration of form, color, ornament and texture. Another example of the "creative eclecticism" tradition is the University Museum at 33rd and Spruce Streets, with a rotunda dominating its otherwise horizontal terra-cotta tile roof, Japanese gates, and Alexander Milne Calder statues supporting the arched main entrance. Portions of the museum were designed by Wilson Eyre, Cope & Stewardson, and Frank Miles Day & Brother, with a later expansion by Mitchell/Giurgola Associates (1969-71).
In the 19th century, Philadelphia's reputation as "a city of homes" was reinforced as new blocks of brick row houses sprang up. High Victorian Gothic residences in the mid- 1800s, such as Furness's Knowlton mansion in Northeast Philadelphia, tended to resemble churches. The Queen Anne Revival houses of the 1880s and 1890s, which borrowed from colonial and medieval sources, were more delicate in scale. The Clarence Moore House 1321 Locust Street is among several Center City homes which Wilson Eyre designed in the picturesque Queen Anne style with Gothic arched openings, a Venetian top floor loggia, and a French chateau-style tower. As his practice evolved, his fondness for the Shingle Style led him to simple yet sophisticated forms. He also was a founder, with Frank Miles Day, of House and Garden magazine and was its editor from 1901 to 1905.