The New Masonic Hall, Philadelphia


This lithograph from circa 1855 shows an exterior view of the four-story Gothic-style New Masonic Hall, located at 713-721 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The hall was built 1853–55 after the designs of the Philadelphia architectural firm Sloan & Stewart, established in 1853 by architect Samuel Sloan and carpenter John Stewart. A small portion of the adjacent Washington House Hotel signboard is visible on the right. On the sidewalk, pedestrians (including men wearing top hats and holding canes, women with parasols, and a child wearing a wide-brimmed hat) greet one another, converse, stroll, and admire the building. The building was sold circa 1873 following the completion of the new Masonic Temple on North Broad Street and was later destroyed by fire in 1883. The artist, Charles P. Tholey (1832–95), was born in Germany and immigrated to Philadelphia with his father and brother circa 1848. He delineated lithographs and depicted cityscape views, landscapes, and historical scenes. The lithography firm for this image was Friend & Aub, a partnership established circa 1852 between lithographers Norman Friend and Jacob Aub.

Last updated: October 30, 2015