Knee-Hi the dog, the Free Library Mascot Floral Motif on Column
Floral Motif on Column

Item No:

Media Type:
Photographic Prints

Catalog Title:
Exterior of the Free Library of Philadelphia at 1217-1221 Chestnut Street

Historian's Notes:
Exterior of Main Library on 1200 block of Chestnut


  • Exterior views
  • Free Library of Philadelphia at 1217-1221 Chestnut St.
  • Hanscom's Restaurant
  • Photographic prints


Note from the Frank Taylor print no. 204: "Rather more than a century ago a prosperous Second Street merchant, Godfrey Haga, built his home in the then poplar residential suburb, on Chestnut Street, near Twelfth Street. A few years later it was bought by John Dorsey, who replaced it with a gothic mansion which was long the wonder if not the admiration of the town. Then trade spread that way and stores were built there. These were effaced, in 1853, by George W. Wharton, a carriage builder, who erected Concert hall, which antedated  the Academy of Music and diverted the favor of musical people from old Musical Fund Hall. Through more than thirty years a sucession of famous singers, great orators, noted statesmen, and gifted lecturers appeared upon it stage. In its dedadence it became the scene of walking and sparring matches and like attractions. The first American flying machine was shown here, in 1878. Veterans of Naval Post of the G.A.R. had their quarters in the building, and lastly, it housed for about seventeen years, dating from 1894, th first of the Free Library collections, the street floor being then occupied by stores."

Original Image Location:
History of the Free Library of Philadelphia Archive


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