Cold Storage, Warm Light

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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.



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  1. hear, hear!

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