The Lucas Building, Philadelphia

I’m intrigued by this building at Chestnut & Juniper Streets and decided to begin figuring out its history. I showed my photo to a guy I work with who was able to give me the name and some basic background info on it (thanks Josh!). It was designed by Willis G. Hale and built 1887-1888. I also found some information suggesting the client was Keystone National Bank, although this building speaks of much more than banking to me. This monogram doesn’t quite make sense – I see the “K” but the other letter appears to be an “S.” In the photo of the building as it stands today you can see the horrible descent into hell the architecture suffered at the base of the building where there is now a “Valu Plus” store. Tragic.


Here is an old photo of what it once looked like. If anyone has any more history on this building, please comment liberally. There’s definitely a story brewing here for me, maybe my first Great American Novel.

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One thought on “The Lucas Building, Philadelphia

  1. I think it’s last use was as a bathhouse. I’m not sure when that was around, but if you look in the upper windows you can still see the neon signs that say “baths”.

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