Delorean Time Machine: 1104 Walnut St.

Before the 1100 block of Walnut St. was home to the Forrest Theater, which was built in 1927, it was home to such venues as the Russian and Turkish Bath House at 1104 Walnut Street. The bath house provided the street with a stylistically Middle Eastern flair, making use of its half teardrop shaped windows and checker patterned fa├žade. Wilson Eyre was the architect, as he was for the building we wrote about last week at 22nd and Chestnut Sts. Some of the windows on the bath house and the William Bradford residence are similar, though the bath house is much more stylized on the whole.

Image from the Free Library

 

With the Forrest Theatre now in its place, this block is nearly unrecognizable from this photo, which was taken prior to 1922. Many photos of historic Philadelphia, including the one seen here, were taken by Frank H. Taylor (1846-1927) a photographer who donated his collection of 243 photos to the Free Library of Philadelphia in 1922. It is due to his work that many of us have some semblance of an idea as to what Philadelphia may have looked like circa the late 19th century, especially in cases where the block has changed almost entirely (as it has here) with the introduction of both the theater and Thomas Jefferson University.