This quaint and quiet corner, complete with a fully-matured elm tree, was once the site of the symmetrically elegant Dundas-Lippincott Mansion. And while this photograph, circa 1890, may suggest the tranquility of a suburban setting, you are in fact looking at the northeast corner of S. Broad and Walnut Sts. Yes, there was once a place for residential property on this corner – we were surprised too.
Though the mansion appears to be wrought of white stone, history tells us that this building (built in 1838) was in fact slightly yellow in color and as such was often referred to as the “Yellow” Mansion. While obviously impossible, we’d like to think that the building’s pale coloration was due to heightened anticipation of future changes including its own destruction in 1903, the demise of elderly oaks and overgrown shrubs, the removal of cobblestones, etc. Paved roads might make for a smoother ride on horse-drawn carriage, but this kind of solitude is no longer anywhere to be found at this intersection.
Not that we’re really complaining. Present day architecture on this block is quite remarkable. Buildings like the spectacular Bellevue-Stratford across the street can quickly make us forget the subtlety of the “Yellow” Mansion and buildings like it, few of which remain downtown. The Bellevue-Stratford makes us say: Bring on the big stuff. The towering Wells Fargo Building, which replaced the Dundas-Lippincott Mansion at the northeast corner, ain’t too bad on the eyes either. Though don’t look up to quickly. We don’t want you should hurt your neck.
— Alex Graziano