“RESPECT SHOULD BE PAID TO THE DESIGN AND INTENTION OF WILLIAM PENN”:1838 PHILADELPHIA BROADSIDE ON RESOLUTIONS PASSED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PHILADELPHIA CITY HALL IN PENN SQUARE
(PHILADELPHIA) GILDER, John. Town Meeting… held on Tuesday Evening, March 13, 1838… relative to the erection of a City Hall on Penn Square. (Philadelphia: Mechanics and Working Men, 1858). Folio broadside, original ivory leaf (measures 8 by 13 inches) matted and framed (total measures 14-1/2 by 19-1/2 inches). $700.
March 13, 1868 broadside, one of the first steps toward construction of a new Philadelphia City Hall in Penn Square, citing resolutions passed at a meeting of the Mechanics and Working Men, preceding an act passed by the state legislature authorizing construction, with building delayed until after the Civil War and spanning three decades before Philadelphia City Hall was completed in 1901 with a statue of William Penn, cast by Calder, atop the bell tower. A fine framed broadside.
This 1838 broadside speaks to Philadelphia’s signal importance to American history. “From 1782, when William Penn made it the first planned community to the colonies, to 1800 and the movement of the federal government to Washington, D.C. Philadelphia could lay claim to being the foremost city of the country” (Page, Pennsylvania Magazine). The handsomely framed broadside cites passage of resolutions for the construction of a new Philadelphia City Hall to be located in Penn Square—passed at a March 13, 1838 “Town Meeting… by the Mechanics and Working Men”—preceding an act passed by the state legislature authorizing construction. Plans faltered, however, amidst controversy over its location and architecture until after the Civil War, when construction finally began and spanned over three decades, with a statue of William Penn, cast by Calder, set atop the bell tower on the building’s completion in 1901. Philadelphia City Hall is listed “on the National Register of Historic Places and its inclusion in a national survey as among the 150 most important buildings in the United States assures its place in Philadelphia for a long time to come” (Gillette, Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia). Signed in print by John Gilder, President of the Mechanics and Working Men, with lists of the organization’s vice presidents and secretaries. Framer tickets to frame verso.
Text clean and dark, faint foldinlines. A fine framed broadside.