Delorean Time Machine: The Newport

Rittenhouse Square has its share of residential high-rises.  But at the start of the 20th Century, the corner occupied by 1530-1532 Spruce St. was one of the few. According to the â€ªUnited States Office of Education’s Annual Report from 1875, the building on the southeast corner of 16th & Spruce was occupied by the Ingleside Seminary before becoming a high rise.

Ingleside Seminary, 1875

The seminary would not survive to see the 1900s.  According to Center City Team, The Newport Apartments were erected in 1897.  As shown here below in G.W. Bromley’s 1910 Philadelphia Atlas, The Newport was the only structure of its kind on the block.

The Newport, 1910

At 9 stories, the luxurious Newport was, for a short time, one of the taller buildings in Philly.  However, according to Trulia, the yet more luxurious and taller Touraine would open in 1917.  At 13 stories, the Touraine occupied the listing at 1520 Spruce Street.  The photo below, taken from LCP Images, shows The Newport and its more imposing neighbor in 1931.

The Touraine (left) and The Newport (right), 1931

Somewhere in the intervening time, evidence suggests that the Touraine eclipsed The Newport, at least in terms of ownership.  This is implied by the 1942 WPA Land Use Maps image shown below.

The Touraine, apparently having annexed its neighbor to the west, 1942

The building occupying 1530 Spruce (presumably the former-Newport under Touraine management) is shown here below in a 1964 photo taken from the Philadelphia Department of Records.

The Newport under Touraine ownership; guy does a double take at woman in white dress, 1964

Today, The Touraine and The Newport are separate entities that still stand side by side at 1520 and 1530 Spruce respectively.  Both contain rental apartments. The Newport is shown here below, restored but largely unchanged from its original appearance, conceived over a century ago. 

The Newport, Touraine visible in background, 2014