Money To Loan!

If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

–Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Shylocks I suppose have never been shy–at least not judging by their storefront advertising, which has always shouted at the passerby.

Never mind Shakespeare’s playing with the historical place of Jews in European society, observing money lenders here–those of today and those of Philadelphia’s past–there does appear to be an inverse ratio between neighborhood income and interest rates…


View Moneylenders in a larger map

Peter Woodall is the co-editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for PhiladelphiaWeekly.com.



1 Comment


  1. Harry Kyriakodis

    The place at 6th and Girard used to be the Mammoth Theatre, built in 1909. It began as a nickelodeon but showed feature foreign films as the World Theatre until closing in 1936. It was subsequently turned into a pool hall and stores. And now it’s a dollar store and a check cashing place.

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
Unlisted Philadelphia: Banca Bozzelli

Unlisted Philadelphia: Banca Bozzelli

March 20, 2019  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, a priceless Italian-American landmark in the heart of Bella Vista. > more

Real Estate Brochure For Vacant School Sounds Alarms in Germantown

Real Estate Brochure For Vacant School Sounds Alarms in Germantown

March 19, 2019  |  News

Neighbors rally around Germantown High School after a real estate listing revealed potential redevelopment plans. Emily Birdy Busch has the news > more

Piecing Together The Lost History Of Wirt & Knox

Piecing Together The Lost History Of Wirt & Knox

March 14, 2019  |  Vantage

Rob Masciantonio tracks down the elusive origins of an abandoned factory in Strawberry Mansion > more

Interior Of 30th Street Station To Be Considered For Historic Designation

Interior Of 30th Street Station To Be Considered For Historic Designation

March 11, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has this roundup of local register nominations on the agenda at the March meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

Op-Ed: Streamlining The City's Preservation Procedures Would Benefit All

Op-Ed: Streamlining The City’s Preservation Procedures Would Benefit All

March 8, 2019  |  Soapbox

In this opinion piece Kenny Grono shares his perspective as a general contractor and remodeling specialist with a few ideas on how the City can untangle the red tape that undermines historic preservation > more

Industrial Design Firm Has A Knack For The Clickety-Clack

Industrial Design Firm Has A Knack For The Clickety-Clack

March 5, 2019  |  Vantage

Theresa Stigale takes us inside the headquarters of Oat Foundry at Frankford Arsenal where its split flap signs are winning the hearts of customers around the globe > more