United States Hotel, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia


This circa 1840 advertising print shows a view looking east down Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. It features the large, prominent hotel that opened in 1826 following the conversion by John Rea of several properties at 419-423 Chestnut Street. Gentlemen convene near the entranceway and portico of the hotel. A carriage is parked in front. On the north side of the street, east of the hotel, several individuals, including couples and families, promenade and converse on the several blocks of businesses leading to the riverfront. Opposite the hotel, on the south side of the street, a couple promenades and boys play marbles in front of the former Second Bank of the United States (420 Chestnut Street). Another couple and several shadowy figures of pedestrians walk down the sidewalks seen in the background. Traveling in the street are two men riding on horseback, an omnibus, and a carriage. A partial view of the Farmers & Mechanics Bank (425-429 Chestnut Street) is seen adjacent to the hotel, and trees and street lamps landscape the street. In the lower left corner, a patron ascends the stairs to the Farmers & Mechanics Bank. The hotel, which was altered in 1840, was demolished in 1856 for the erection of a new building for the Bank of Pennsylvania. Thomas C. Rea, son of John Rea, operated the property until his death in 1846. The artist of this print was David S. Quintin (1818–1905), who was born in Pennsylvania and studied and worked as a lithographer in Philadelphia around 1841–45. The printer was Peter S. Duval, one of the most prominent lithographers and printers of his day. Born circa 1804 or 1805 in France, Duval 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.

Last updated: January 8, 2018