1902 from King's
              Philadelphia, c/o Places in Time

Highlights from

40th and Pine Streets, Past, Present, & Future

September 27, 2012
1963 Philadelphia
              City Archives

Part 1. Significance - Sloan, Levy & Suburban Legacy
Part 2. Historic Designation
Part 3. Community and City Plans
Summary of Goals and Chronology,  handout from 9/27/2012 (pdf)
digital sketch of
              Hamilton Terrace
Suburban Legacy:
Built in 1853, the original design for the house almost certainly came from Samuel Sloan, who was in process of becoming a prolific and influential architect.  Remodeled in 1897 for David Porter Leas, the house remains essentially intact in spite of partial obscurement by 1960s and 70s additions and landscaping.
The house was first sold to Philadelphia industrialist John P. Levy, who made it his home.  At the time of purchase Levy was living in Kensington close to his business, which later became Neafie & Levy.  Their company remained a major Philadelphia manufacturer of steam engines, propellers, and ships into the early 20th century.   After moving to West Philadelphia, Levy invested in nearby housing development to support his brother's church on Walnut Street.    Both Neafie and Levy are buried in The Woodlands cemetery. 
> See an 1861 colored print of Neafie & Levy's shipyard on the Delaware River (at the Library Company website).
> Neafie and Levy jointly had a large summer home built in Cape May, NJ.   Like many West Philadelphia houses, it was actually a two houses made as a single structure.

The Levy-Leas house is also a part of a larger story.  One that has continued to this day: the creation of one of the earliest suburbs.  In the early 1850s, real estate attorney Nathaniel B. Browne had a plan to develop an initial 58 acres obtained from the heirs of William Hamilton.   With a group of trustees, Browne laid out streets for a "Western portion of Hamilton village" and then sold these new blocks to speculators.  Browne and his partners arranged these sales so as to create a contiguous suburban setting.   The original rendering of  "Hamilton Terrace" by Samuel Sloan gives graphic evidence of how the architect helped carry out this vision.   This interplay between financing, real estate and the architectural vision is described in more detail on The Emerging Suburb page at the West Phila. Community History Center.

Woodland Terrace
A surviving corner house and one of the Italiante twins from Hamilton Terrace,
 designed by Samuel Sloan for S.A. Harrison.

Woodland Terrace, built a few years later, was also designed by Sloan.
 It survives almost entirely intact

Historic Designation:

400 S. 40th Street is listed on both the Philadelphia and National Register of Historic Places.
The map below illustrates how the Levy House at 40th and Pine Streets fits in with other designated properties and districts.

Registers of Historic Places:

Philadelphia Register
  • Effects actions involving City agencies
  • Responsibility of the Philadelphia Historical Commission & Staff

  National Register  
  • Effects actions involving Federal agencies and funds
  • Decisions generally made by the State Historic Preservation Office
Historic Districts & Properties Encompassing 400. S. 40th Street

Black Outline  = West Philadelphia Street Car Suburb National Register District.
Yellow = Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Current Plans:

2012 Zoning overlay:

Zoning continues to reflect the historic residential use and scale in the vicinity of 40th and Pine Streets.   

Current Planning Documents:

Spruce Hill Renewal Plan:          www.sprucehillca.org/plan/III/strategy.html
Plan for West Philadelphia:         www.philaplanning.org/cpdiv/WPP.html
Civic Goals and Urban Design Strategies for the 40th Street Corridor:  www.40thSt.org

Websites for Additional History and Images:

West Philadelphia History Center:     www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/features/wphila/index.html
Philadelphia City Archives On Line:    www.phillyhistory.org

Go to:
40th & Pine Home page
Summary of the case against a hardship demolition
Chronology of 400 S. 40th Street Before and After Penn's ownership
Contributions and Contacts for the 40th & Pine Neighbors
  Announcement for Past, Present & Future Community Meeting (pdf).

Show your Support: Sign our On-line Petition at Change.org

Contact Us! We'll forward your e-mail to the appropriate person within the Pine Street Neighbors and Woodland Terrace Homeowners Association.