The Vulcanite Building, by name alone, implies that it either houses the children of a Roman fire god or extraterrestrials from planet Vulcan (shameless Star Trek reference). We are going with the former, assuming the Vulcanite Tile and Mosaic Company was indeed housed in this building which rested at 1710 Market Street in the late 19th century.

Image Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia

And yet, in spite of both their Roman ancestry and their ability to harness fire in making kiln baked clays, we have to say that the façade of the Vulcanite Building looks like anything but ancient Roman in architecture. Instead of broad columns and simplified stone, the building features circular painted designs near its upside-down widow’s peak rooftop, accompanied by a wall almost entirely covered with glass windows. The strange, wobbly eyebrow arch which sits atop the building’s central windows suggests that it’s almost surprised to see you looking at it.

But to us, the sheer fact that this quaint building on Market St. is built with brick is a welcome sight. Call us old-fashioned, but sometimes we tire of seeing stone and steel behemoths clogging up the streets. Ah, to be back in the good old days…

So long, Vulcanite Building


Yeah, we’ll stick with the aliens…uh…tile-makers on this one.

Alex Graziano