Castner Scrapbook v.18, Chestnut Street – Residences 1, page 23

Historical Images of Philadelphia Castner Scrapbook Collection
Castner Scrapbook v.18, Chestnut Street – Residences 1, page 23

Item Info

Item No: pdcc03108
Title: Castner Scrapbook v.18, Chestnut Street – Residences 1, page 23
Historic Street Address: 239 Arch Street
Historic Street Address: 3451-3485 W Girard Avenue
Historic Street Address: Letitia Street & Black Horse Alley
Media Type: Scrapbooks
Source: Print and Picture Collection

Item 1, top left:  Caption reads, "The Letitia Street Mansion of William Penn, near Girard Ave. Bridge.  Built about 1704, it was removed to this site in 1883.  The house was completely restored in 1932."  The original location of this residence was in Center City, at Letitia Street & Black Horse Alley (near 2nd & Market Streets), but was probably not built until 1713, by carpenter John Smart.  Letitia Street, which runs through the middle of the full city block owned by Penn, was named for Penn's daughter Letitia.  But it is believed that the Penn family never lived there, instead living in other houses, both in and outside Philadelphia, all of which were eventually demolished.  The surviving Penn property in the block, the Letitia Street House, was relocated to 3451-3485 W. Girard Avenue, in Fairmount Park, by the Bi-Centennial Association of Pennsylvania in 1883, to serve as a monument to William Penn.  It was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1956.  Reproduction of a photograph for an unidentified publication, 11.5 x 17 cm, undated.

Item 2, top right:  Caption reads, "'The Flag Room" in the Betsy Ross house where in 1776 she received Gen. George Washington, Col. George Ross and Robert Morris, and was given the commission to make the first American Flag."   Most historians agree that Betsy Ross did not design the first American flag--a story put forth by her grandsons, and later debunked--but she certainly sewed flags for the Pennsylvania navy throughout the Revolutionary War, and continued to do so for the next 50 years. Reproduction of a photograph for an unidentified publication, 11.5 x 9 cm, undated.

Item 3, bottom:  Caption reads, "'Old Glory's Birthplace--the Betsy Ross house at 239 Arch Street.  It was completely restored by A. Atwater Kent in 1937.'  There is conflicting research as to whether Ross lived at this address, or next door.  But once the adjacent property was demolished (as a fire hazard?), possibly in the mid-19th century, the surviving building was designated the Flag House.  The front of the residence was originally built in 1740, and the rear added onto over the next two decades.  The Rosses would have rented the house around 1777-1785 (dates vary, according to researchers).  It was restored in 1937 by architect Richardson Brognard Okie Jr., commissioned by A. Atwater Kent, followed by further expansion and improvements to the surrounding lots.  In 1941, the entire property was given to the City of Philadelphia. Reproduction of a photograph for an unidentified publication, 11.5 x 17.5 cm, undated.

Creation Year: 1845
Geocode Latitude: Geocode Longitude:-75.143107
Geocode Latitude:39.949086

Call Number: A917.481 P536 v.18
Creator Name: Castner, Samuel, Jr., 1843-1929 - Compiler
John Smart (carpenter) - Architect
Fiske Kimball (renovation) - Architect
Richardson Brognard Okie Jr. (restoration) - Architect

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