United States Bank, Philadelphia


This lithograph from 1835 shows a view of the United States Bank (also called the Second Bank of the United States because it was the second federally authorized national bank), located at 420 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The functions of the bank included regulation of the currency and handling fiscal transactions for the U.S. government. The bank was constructed between 1818 and 1824 after the designs of Philadelphia architect William Strickland (1787–1854) and was one of the first Greek Revival buildings in the country, apparently modeled on the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Seen here are a couple and a man strolling on the sidewalk, and two ladies conversing with a gentleman at the open gate leading to the alley west of the bank. A partial view of an adjacent building also can be seen. The building served as the Bank of the United States (i.e., Second Bank) until 1836, when the charter for the bank was not renewed. After alterations by Strickland, the building served as the U.S. Custom House between 1844 and 1935.

Last updated: December 29, 2015