Look Up! Imaginative Eyre on Locust Street

“Look Up” is a PlanPhilly feature that encourages appreciation of our architectural and historical environment. Each week, the photo essay will focus on a different Philadelphia area neighborhood and its distinctive building styles and details, all of which make up the physical fabric of the city and region.

Philadelphia’s late19th-century architectural character is primarily defined by the Victorian Gothic masterworks of Frank Furness. But other personalities also shaped the city landscape of that era, and have survived decades of changing tastes and interests.

Wilson Eyre’s residential designs are among the most beautiful in Center City and the suburbs. A friend of artists Maxfield Parrish and Violet Oakley, Eyre allowed his style to range from balanced Georgian and Queen Anne designs, to lyrical Arts & Crafts compositions, to combinations of influences. Eyre’s diverse approaches are found on the 1300 block of Locust Street.

In 1890, Eyre built the Clarence Moore House, 1321 Locust, for the merchant and amateur archaeologist. The architect used pointed Gothic arches, French towers, a third-floor Venetian loggia, a variety of exterior textures, and a menagerie of human and animal sculptures. The result is a breathtaking American castle with a European accent.

Three years later, Eyre built the Joseph Leidy House and Office next door for a physician and antiquarian interested in early American history. The house at 1319 Locust is a stately Georgian Revival structure, now utilized by the hospital and health care employees’ union. 

“Look Up!” Elfreth’s Alley has issues

“Look Up” Architectural exercises on Boathouse Row

“Look Up!” John Notman’s brownstone temples

“Look Up!” 19th Century luxe on Locust St.

“Look Up!: 20th Century evolution in East Falls

“Look Up!” Rural retreats in Northeast Philly

“Look Up!” Modernist lines on Haverford Ave.

“Look Up!” Chestnut Hill’s modernist gems

Contact the writer at ajaffe@planphilly.com.

“Look Up!” The Art Deco Palace of Mt. Airy
Look Up! An architect’s legacy on Spruce Street
Look Up!” The French Village in Mt. Airy
“Look Up” and check out the nouveau mansions of North Broad

“Look Up” and check out elegant Southwark
“Look Up” and check out Henry Disston’s company town
“Look Up: and check out Spruce Hill
“Look Up” and check out Green Street
“Look Up” and check out West Laurel Hill
“Look Up” and check out Parkside
“Look Up” and check out Awbury Arboretum
“Look Up” and check out Nicetown
“Look Up” and check out Overbrook Farms
“Look Up” and check out Girard Estate
“Look Up” and check out Rittenhouse/Fitler Square

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