Delorean Time Machine: 22nd and Chestnut

The southeast corner of 22nd and Chestnut, currently home to the CareRx Pharmacy which lies adjacent to the Sidney Hillman Medical Center, was once the corner of a residential block featuring architecture of Wilson Eyre. The building depicted in this pre-1922 photograph showcases the William Bradford Residence in its former glory. Neither the hospital nor the medical center existed at the time, leaving the block with a more clearly outlined architectural scheme (as compared with today’s look).

Image from Free Library

The residence boasted a clean, quaint design nestled in tightly next to its rather tall neighbor. There was only one visible entrance on 22nd Street and the side facing Chestnut St. was occupied by two windows on the first floor and one for the cellar. Today, the corner is opened up, making room for a pharmacy which seems to divide a once seamless building into two. We seem to recall that it was a dry cleaners that initially occupied that retail space, which then sat vacant for quite some time before the pharmacy opened. The rest of the building is utilized as studio and one bedroom apartments, operated by the William Penn Realty Group. Though the much of the building looks virtually the same as it did in its better years, if the retail space deferred more to the architecture with different signage, the whole building would be much more satisfying.

We would also like to add that although having a medical center is certainly a good thing, we lament the loss of Bradford Residence’s tall neighbor. Not only was it a good looking building, it also sported a rooftop terrace, a feature which seems to go overlooked too often by urban designers these days.

— Alex Graziano