Cold Storage, Warm Light

5259449096_55a0decd91_o

Picture 1 of 7

Photo: Harry Byrne

The Philadelphia Warehousing and Cold Storage Co. on Delaware Avenue between Spring Garden and Noble Streets is best known for the massive United States flag mural on its south side, but its buildings are a marvel in their own right.  The company was founded in 1873, and once boasted what may have been the largest ice machine in the country.  Although there have been additions over the years, the buildings pictured in the 1891 Hexamer survey below are still identifiable.

The company is still very much in business, unlike so many of its counterparts.  As Hidden City Daily contributor Harry Kyriakodis puts it in his his new book Philadelphia’s Lost Waterfront, these are “the city’s oldest and largest cold storage houses and represent the numerous long-demolished warehouses that used to line the central Philadelphia waterfront.”

Hexamer Survey, 1891

About the author

Harry Byrne is a lawyer based in Bala Cynwyd, he is a past Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Family Law Section, and an Articles/Comments editor of The Pennsylvania Family Lawyer. He has written and lectured extensively on family law topics. He began shooting pictures as a hobby about 5 years ago, is self taught, and enjoys shooting landscapes in the west of Ireland, as well as urban scenes around Philadelphia. His work can be seen here on flickr.



1 Comment


  1. hear, hear!

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Unlisted Philadelphia: Smith Memorial Arch

Unlisted Philadelphia: Smith Memorial Arch

March 29, 2017  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Architectural illustrator Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not protected on the local register with his series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, a grand gateway to an urban park paradise > more

Archeologists Dish Up Dirt On Philly History Under I-95

Archeologists Dish Up Dirt On Philly History Under I-95

March 28, 2017  |  News

Contributor Jared Brey takes us under the overpass and down in the trenches of the 95 Revive archeological excavation where field workers are piecing together centuries of lost Philadelphia history > more

The Gallery: Finally The Destination Ed Bacon Hoped For?

The Gallery: Finally The Destination Ed Bacon Hoped For?

March 23, 2017  |  Vantage

PREIT's transformation of The Gallery into an upscale shopping outlet promises to be the suburban-minded downtown destination that the first mall failed to deliver. Contributor Chris Giuliano takes a look at the redevelopment of East Market and Edmond Bacon's original plan. > more

New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

March 20, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes a stroll down to Society Hill where business is stirring at an old 19th century coal company headquarters after 12 years of vacancy > more

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

March 17, 2017  |  Buzz

Two fans of Modernism re-evaluate architectural history with the exhibition, "What Was the Philadelphia School?" > more

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

March 16, 2017  |  Vantage

The site of Penn's new riverside research campus has a long, decorated history of industrial enterprise. Contributor Madeline Helmer dives deep into the backstory > more