Uncovered in Point Breeze

Large letters – “… H (O or U?) E …”
Below – “…(PA)SSYUNK Av. ABO(VE?)…”

Had this forwarded to me by a fan of the site.

Recently uncovered in a friend-of-friend’s South Philly rowhome during major renovation. The owner’s house was built next to a (corner?) rowhome that obviously had an advertisement on it’s exterior, and it was remarkably well preserved when the walls went up next to it (much like the covered portions of this sign). The sign runs up the wall through both stories of the owner’s house…

Looking at the map, it appears that at some point Wilder Street may have run through this triangular-shaped block to Point Breeze Avenue, or at least there might have been a driveway to the large space behind the houses.

UPDATE – Commenter Mike sent us this interactive map overlay website by the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network, according to which, as far back as 1895 in the Philadelphia Atlas by G. W. Bromley, the area clearly shows a driveway, or at least a space, between the rowhouses opposite Wilder Street. Traffic on 21st street travels south, which would explain the desirability for a sign against this north-facing wall. Correction: Traffic at one time travelled NORTH (see comments), which makes sense as this sign faces SOUTH. See here:

I’ve contacted the owners to see if I can dig up anything. More information soon!

21st and Dickinson at Wilder Street (no longer visible from the outside) [map]

6 responses to “Uncovered in Point Breeze”

  1. Lawrence says:

    Nice! This is very similar, except it seems to be much larger, covering at least two storeys…

  2. Mike says:

    You can see on the maps at http://www.philageohistory.org/tiles/viewer/ that there used to be a driveway between the two houses at the end of Wilder St there.

  3. Lawrence says:

    Mike –

    What a great tool! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mike says:

    There is still a space between the rowhomes there, but the space is/was between the 2 rowhomes to the north of the one pictured (my house); there is also still a curb cut, so it must have been some kind of driveway. Also, old heads on the block told us that 21st was northbound when they were kids, which makes more sense (the sign faces south).

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