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Bellevue-Stratford: 1910

Bellevue-Stratford: 1910

Sooty Philadelphia circa 1910. "The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Then and now

My parents had their first real date in the tea room on the upper floors here. Now the 11th floor is the Governor's office. It's still as beautiful, but you won't find people making u-turns in the middle of Broad Street!

High in the sky at the Bellevue-Stratford

From a 1907 postcard:
Drinking highballs, very high,
In a garden near the sky,
Up above the world were we,
This was the way it looked to me.


Thanks for this image, simply amazing.

Still Standing, Still Beautiful

My wife and I stayed at the Bellvue for our anniversary a month ago, and the place is still a stunner. I've uploaded a photo showing the hotel as it appears today. If you're ever visiting Philly, I highly recommend heading up to the bar at the top (XIX, or "Nineteen"), ordering a bourbon, and taking in the view.

Only Two Left

I believe only two of the clearly visible buildings are still standing, the Bellevue and the Academy of Music (to the left).

It's interesting to see that the Academy of Music has such a pitched roof. From most current vantage points, it appears to be flat.

The Budweiser billboard is interesting. Even with all the large breweries in Philadelphia at the time, there was still room in the market for out of towners.

The rooftop tennis court (or whatever that is) is interesting. That's not there anymore either. The building is probably still there but with a more normal rooftop.

Budweiser Neon

That very large Budweiser neon sign on the left side of the photo is exactly like the one that was in Times Square, NYC for many years. I guess Philly had enough Budweiser Beer drinkers to warrant erecting such an expensive sign, even in 1910.

Hey, that's my office

Beautiful. I work in this building. today it houses 11 stories of offices (including governor Rendell's office) and the remainder is the Hyatt. the lobby is virtually unchanged.

Rooftop Schoolyard

My guess on that enclosure on the rooftop in the distance is a schoolyard/playground atop a school. Even 100 years later, we still have these in Philadelphia and they look just the same today as they did then.

I don't think the balconies on the Bellevue-Stratford are cantilevered. It appears to me that they're supported by large stone corbels for the first 14 floors and iron brackets for those 3 uppermost ones.

Legionnaire's Disease

made its first known appearance at this hotel during the 1976 American Legion convention. The bacteria had been hiding out in the hotel's HVAC system.


Almost mystical. Thanks for this beauty.


Is that a rooftop tennis court in the distance? Or perhaps just a way to have an outdoor venue w/o birds stealing your food. Those Bellevue-Stratford balconies make me cringe a bit -- 15 stories up and just cantilever support.

Love to have a high resolution copy of this photo. I love looking at the upper story stonework on these old buildings.

Alice in Wonderland

Another wonderful building. Thanks.

A painting?

Gorgeous. Perhaps it's the sky and soot (not including what appear to be fingerprint residue at left on the horizon), but the quality of light gives it a painterly quality.

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