Chinatown, Washington Square
Among the area's desirable condos along Spruce Street are found three residences that were placed on the National Register.
Wilson Eyre Home (1003 Spruce Street)
Placed on the National Register around 1976, the Wilson Eyre home is a 3-story brick house with a 3-story back building connected by a piazza. It was constructed between 1830 and 1835. It is typical of the domestic architecture of the time and resembles other homes of the area. It served as home and office to architect, Wilson Eyre, Jr. He purchased the house in 1909 and established his office in 1910, and in 1912 it became his home. He occupied the house until his death in 1944. Interestingly, the house (a typical 19th century Philadelphia row house), bears no resemblance to Eyre's own architectural designs.
Matthew Quay House (1037-1037 Spruce St and 277 S 11th St)
Built in 1858 for Edward Roberts, this is one of Philadelphia's few examples of a Renaissance Revival brownstone mansion. It was executed in the Romano-Tuscan mode, but with Northern Italian Influences in the ornamentation and detailing. Matthew Quay (a masterful political organizer) acquired the property in 1879 and lived there until 1881. He became a U.S. Senator in 1887. As a member of the Republican National Committee he was instrumental in Harrison's election, and helped secure Roosevelt's 1900 vice-presidential nomination.
John Stewart Development Houses (1020-1028 Spruce St; circa 1870-1873)
These 5 rowhouses, stylistically, are common among architects who developed their skills in the two decades before the civil war. The houses mark the continuation of ante-bellum design after the war. Their conservative style was not equated with social or financial backwardness. Rather, as documented by the social directories for the first 2 decades after the houses were erected, the row was fairly exclusive; through the early twentieth century, each of the houses was occupied by a family of sufficient social stature to warrant listing in the social register. Conservative, aristocratic Philadelphia values of the time tended to view advances, stylistic or otherwise, with suspicion.
Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination documents
School District: Philadelphia