Philadelphia archives moves to new building

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo- Delaware Valley James P.Loenard shows off a photo of a street sweeper parade.

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo- Delaware Valley Joshua Blay shows off some city planning maps.

If your parents, or even great grandparents were in the city and owned property, you may want to see the deed to the property ,  Heck, you might even want a copy of that deed.  To get that information,  you can go to the new city archives headquarters located at 548 Spring Garden Street, to  view the paperwork. It’s free. A ribbon cutting and media tour was held yesterday,  December 6, 2018.

Alex Lloyd Gross-photo- Delaware Valley check out the date on these boxes. The mid 1800’s.

“Anytime a celebrity, or other notable president was in town, and had an official function with the mayor, or went to the Liberty bell,  the city photographer was there to capture it.,” said  James P  Leonard, Philadelphia Commissioner of Records. Over 2,000,000 photographs are kept in this building. Some of them line the hallways, like a street sweeper parade from 1914.  About 100 men with large barrels on wheels marched down the west side of Market Street at 16th.  What is interesting about this image, is the fact that buildings we see everyday, are no longer  there.

Then, on display  for the media was the Philadelphia Rat Patrol  building,  These images are over 100 years old and show vintage police vehicles and city vehicles as well. Many of the images are in black and white.

There are rows and rows of boxes that store birth and death records going back to the 1800’s.  It is a fascinating time piece of city history.  Inside, there is a mural that spans the entire public section, which was painted by local artist Talia Greene. This building takes the place from the old building at 3101 Market Street . It cost $10 million and has 65000 square feet of space.

The hours of operation for the new archives building is 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM.  Not every record may be kept there, but if it’s not, the staff can direct you on where to go for what you are looking for.