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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Betz: 1900

The Betz: 1900

Philadelphia circa 1900. "Betz Building, Broad and South Penn Square." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Architectural Dilemma

The Betz building reflects the challenge to architects of the time. Utilize the latest technology (light weight steel frame construction) but design the building in the popular Romanesque Revival style that traditionally used load bearing walls of stone and masonry. The result is an unfortunate mix of styles and cosmetic ornamentation. I've submitted a photo taken from the exact spot during construction. The clean soaring lines of the steel frame are completely lost in the finished building.
Interesting, also, the Girard Life Building next door added four more stories in the time between the two photos.

Pity it's gone

Pity that this building is gone- it has beautiful architecture- so much more interesting than today's boring glass boxes.

Does anyone know what is written above the face gargoyles above the eight floor?

["John F. Betz." The "gargoyles" are his portrait. - tterrace]


Q: Who could possibly see, let alone read the window signs on the 13th floor?

A: People on the 10th through 16th floors of the building across the street.

Get your wurzburger here

The Betz Building contained Charles W Soulas's fine restaurant the The Raths-Keller where "German Cuisine Predominates."

Corner turret rooms

Kind of always wondered how those tiny corner turret offices were furnished or laid out. I mean what could you possibly place in there? A rounded desk?
Would be cool to see some interior pics of buildings like this.

Aww, c'mon

Who could possibly see, let alone read the window signs on the 13th floor?


Demolished in 1926, now the Lincoln-Liberty PNB Building. Architectural rendering here.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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