Inside Germantown’s Max Levy Autotgraph Building

Gary Reed, a frequent EOTS Flickr Group photo contributor and Germantown resident, got a peek inside the historic and vacant Max Levy Autograph Building as part of Gray Area Philly‘s focus on possible futures for this buidling. The next Gray Area public conversation about the Max Levy building will be on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30pm, held at Germantown Theatre Company, 4821 Germantown Avenue. All are welcome to participate.

Here’s what caught Gary’s eye:

On Saturday the 26th, myself and a small group of interested community supporters were invited by Gray Area Philly to explore the Max Levy Building. The building is located in lower Germantown near the Wayne Junction train station. It was constructed in 1902 at 240 Roberts Avenue at the time when Max Levy moved from Arch Street in Center City Philadelphia. In 2005 Max Levy Autograph moved to a new building in Byberry East Industrial Park.

When you first approach the building you notice the brick and stone exterior. The building is very similar to the designs of several Philadelphia schools. As an artist I was also struck by the sense of space and light. The light coming from the few windows highlight designated areas which create a dramatic effect.

After some further research I discovered that Max chose this site because of a “huge granite outcropping that provided seismic stability. On it he constructed a reinforced concrete building, one of the first in the nation.” Max and his brother Louis are credited with developing a method of producing a permanently etched glass screen for use in half tone printing in 1875. The process is still used by some companies in the printing industry.


Check out more of Gary’s work on Flickr.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal