Merchants' Exchange


This lithograph shows the view looking northeast from the intersection of Dock, Third, and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia to the Merchants' Exchange. Built between 1832 and 1833 to the designs of William Strickland (1788–1854), the exchange functioned as a commercial and financial hub and post office and was the first large central building in Philadelphia for the conduct of business. Men are seen walking around and horse-drawn omnibuses arrive at and are parked in front of the building. Light pedestrian traffic is visible in the street and at the corners, including near the office of the Saturday Courier. The print also shows streetcar tracks in the foreground and another omnibus passing Girard National Bank (formerly the First Bank of the United States) in the background. The illustration 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

J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, hand-colored ; 16 x 19 centimeters


  • Originally published as plate 14 in Views of Philadelphia, and Its Vicinity (Philadelphia: Published by J.C. Wild & J.B. Chevalier, Lithographers, 72 Dock Street, 1838). The lithographic stones for the views were acquired by John T. Bowen, who later reissued them with hand coloring. He copyrighted this view in 1840.
  • Digital catalog number: POS 472.4

Last updated: September 30, 2015