Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published in the Fall 2018 issue of Extant, a publication of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.
Unlisted Philadelphia highlights interesting and significant Philadelphia buildings not yet listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. To learn more about the local designation process and how you can participate in nominating a building to the Philadelphia Register, visit the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia’s website for more information.
LOCATION: 800-810 North Broad Street
North Broad Street was once known as Philadelphia’s Automobile Row, with scores of auto factories, showrooms, garages, and parts suppliers lining the blocks between Spring Garden Street and Girard Avenue. The rubber truly met the road on the 800 block, where no fewer than five tire companies built jewel-box showrooms and warehouses, each clad in gleaming white terra cotta. Though the tires are long gone, much of the terra cotta survives, at least for now. Look closely and you can still see inscriptions in the cornices for Michelin Tires and the Republic Rubber Company. With redevelopment of North Broad Street and nearby Ridge Avenue in high gear, historic designation is now imperative for this last great vestige of Automobile Row.