“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Spruce Street Houses

The Spruce Street Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 23, 2015
1. The Spruce Street Houses Marker
Inscription. The Greek Revival building at 700-714 Spruce Street were built between 1835 and 1838 on land originally owned by the Contributors to Pennsylvania Hospital. This drawing represents the facades of the buildings just prior to their preservation and restoration which began in 1979. In that same year, construction was begun on a new Ambulatory Health Care Center behind the facades.

700-702 was built by the Philadelphia Roman Catholic Society for Educating and Maintaining Poor Orphan Children, and starting in 1814 was operated by Mother Setonís Sisters of Charity. It remained an orphanage until 1945, when it was acquired by Pennsylvania Hospital.

704 was built for William Wilson, grocer. It remained in the Wilson family until 1887, when it was acquired as a part of the expansion of the orphanage next door at 700-702. Subsequently, 700-702 and 704 were used as residences for student nurses and later for Pennsylvania Hospital business offices and research facilities.

706 was built for John Haseltine, merchant. It remained in the Haseltine family until 1876. From then to the 1970ís the property had several owners.

708 was built for Romulus Riggs merchant. From 1850 to 1890 it was the home of Samuel Welsh, the first man in Philadelphia to have an annual income of $100,000. In 1891 it became the Church Training

The Spruce Street Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, March 23, 2015
2. The Spruce Street Houses Marker
and Deaconess House of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

710 was built for Erskine Hazzard. In 1838 it was sold to Alexander Fullerton, Jr., who owned the property until 1878. In 1900 it was acquired and combined with 708 by the Church Training and Deaconess House of the Diocese of Philadelphia.

712 was built for Erskine Hazzard, also. In 1838 it was conveyed to Wilson Thompson and remained in this family until 1905. In 1907í1909 the property was combined with 714 to form apartments and later the Spruce Hotel.

714, also built for Erskine Hazzard, was used as a tenant building after its completion in 1838. Since 1907-1909 it was considered as one property with 712 Spruce Street. To provide a structural steel frame for the new Ambulatory Health Care facility while maintaining the 19th century facades, required a system that would allow for careful removal of wood joists and beaming brick part walls. The system used became the permanent support for the walls. New concrete footings were poured in the basements, holes were cut through floors, and 10” wide-flange columns positioned from roof to these footings. Beams parallel to the walls were welded in place, while continuous angles wee bolted with expansion bolts to the inside of the wall. Straps were then welded connecting the angles and the beam, securing the wall to the structural frame.
Location. 39° 56.736′ N, 75° 9.216′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on Spruce Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 706 Spruce Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nicholas Biddle (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Trinity (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Philadelphia Congregations (about 500 feet away); The Ayer Building (about 500 feet away); A.M.E. Book Concern (about 600 feet away); Mikveh Israel Cemetery (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Mikveh Israel Cemetery (about 600 feet away); Freedom is a Light (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Philadelphia.
Categories. Notable Buildings

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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