Mercantile Branch

Item Info

Item No: pdcf00331
Title: Mercantile Branch
Additional Title: Exterior evening view of the new Merchantile Branch building, 1953
Historic Street Address: 1021 Chestnut Street
Media Type: Photographic Prints
Source: Print and Picture Collection

 This is a 1953 exterior evening view, looking into the new Mercantile Branch, designed by Sydney Errington Martin, and opened on December 9, 1953. It replaced the demolished 1869-vintage Mercantile Library building at 10 S. 10th Street, which had been the branch's home since 1944.

The building represented a new trend in libraries towards bright, modern designs, and therefore has architectural landmark status.  Note the large white space on the left-hand wall--it would soon be graced by a mural by Raymond Spiller, as part of the "1% For Art" initiative.  (A partial view of that mural can be seen in image #pdcf00332.)

 The Mercantile Branch served the Center City population, until it closed in 1989.

Creation Year: 1953
Geocode Latitude: Geocode Longitude:-75.157838
Geocode Latitude:39.950468