Commissioners Hall, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia


This hand-colored lithograph from 1853 shows an exterior view of the hall containing the police station for the district and the office of the mayor, located on a busy snow-covered Third Street between Buttonwood and Green Streets in Philadelphia. The hall has fenced property, and is adorned with an American flag. Several warmly-dressed pedestrians, hall officials, and a policeman mill about and converse on the sidewalk; children throw snowballs and play with a sled; horse-drawn sleighs pass; men shovel snow off the street and hall steps; and an African American man trudges past carrying a basket of celery and a dead goose. A broadside inscribed, "Washington, 22nd Feb. 1852" adorns a nearby building. Prior to the 1854 consolidation of the city with bordering townships, neighborhoods maintained and housed their own police stations, mayors, and other government officials in commissioners’ halls, including this one in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. Built in 1814, this hall served as the quarters of the Northern Liberties Barracks until the American Revolution. It was torn down in 1880 for the erection of the Northern Liberties Grammar School. The drawing for this print was done by Philadelphia artist Thomas M. Scott; the creator of the lithograph was Charles Conrad Kuchel, a lithographer who was born in Switzerland in 1820 and worked in Philadelphia from 1840 to circa 1853. The print was produced by Peter S. Duval, one of the most prominent lithographers and printers of his day. Duval was born circa 1804 or 1805 in France. He emigrated from France to Philadelphia in the fall of 1831 to accept a job as a lithographer with the printing firm of Childs & Inman. By 1837 he had established his lithographic printing shop and he remained in business until his retirement in 1869.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

P.S. Duval & Company Lithography, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Commissioners Hall, Northern Liberties, Phila.

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, tinted with two stones, hand-colored ; 50 x 66 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 151

Last updated: October 30, 2015