United States Bank, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia


This lithograph shows the United States Bank, also called the Second Bank of the United States (because it was the second federally authorized national bank), on the 400 block of the south side of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Its functions included regulation of the currency and handling fiscal transactions for the U.S. government. The bank was constructed in 1818−24 to designs by 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. The building served as the Bank of the United States until 1836, when the bank’s charter was not renewed, and, after alterations by Strickland, as the U.S. Custom House in 1844−1935. The print is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804-46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris in 1832. He produced paintings and prints of Philadelphia and other American cities, including Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Davenport, Iowa. His works are important historical records of these cities before the era of large-scale industrialization and rapid urban growth.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Lithography of Wild & Chevalier, Philadelphia


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph ; 14 x 19 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 776.2. Digital image shows fourth state of print.
  • Originally published as plate 2 in Views of Philadelphia, and Its Vicinity (Philadelphia: Published by J.C. Wild & J.B. Chevalier, Lithographers, 72 Dock Street, 1838).


  1. American Institute of Architects, http://aiaphiladelphia.org/buildings/second-bank-united-states.
  2. Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary of Lithographers, http://www.librarycompany.org/pos/posdictionary.htm.
  3. John Caspar Wild, Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia, http://www.lcpdigital.org.

Last updated: February 26, 2014