Unlisted: West Philadelphia Title and Trust

Unlisted is a series of portraits highlighting Philadelphia buildings not yet listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  To learn how to protect a building by nominating it to the Register, click here.

Address: 4000 Lancaster Avenue

Architect: Walter Smedley

Built: 1897

How is this stately bank building on the corner of Lancaster and 40th not on the Philadelphia Register? Well, up until a few years ago, it was overgrown with billboards and signage, its decorative bloom of terra cotta concealed by Clear Channel’s mongering shroud. Huge kudos to the People’s Emergency Center, which convinced the building owner to kick the ad habit. After the necessary cleaning, repointing and stabilization, what emerged was a spectacular neighborhood landmark. Walter Smedley, the building’s architect, was a founder of the venerable T-Square Club and designed a number of Register-listed buildings, including the East Park Canoe House and listed-but-lost Northern National Bank.

Historic (c. 1899)

Before (c.2008, courtesy James Wright, PEC)

After (c.2010, courtesy James Wright, PEC)


4 responses

  1. Scoats

    Is the illustration by Alfred Bendiner?

    January 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

    • btleech

      I forgot to add the by-line on this one, but I do all the Unlisted drawings myself. I am a fan of Bendiner, though.

      January 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

  2. Jenna

    Wow, all of that signage was frightening. Props to PEC for getting that outa there.

    January 7, 2011 at 10:44 am

  3. Thank you to Unlisted from PEC for highlighting this project. For information about our other community development and commercial corridor work, we invite you to visit

    and http://www.lancasteravephilly.com

    February 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

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