Through the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network and Sanborn fire maps, we were able to find a number of maps of the block over the last 110 years.
* A 1895 city survey shows the property as an empty lot surrounded by some of the first residences in the area.
* A 1910 city survey shows the warehouse built and labeled as a “garage” and the larger neighborhood is almost entirely built as we know it.
* A 1942 Land Use Map shows the property labeled as GSC.
* By 1962 the property is listed as an electrical equipment manufacturer.
We were told by a prior owner that the building was at one point a Studebaker automobile dealership, although we are unsure of the years it was located here. Additionally, the building was home to a roller skating rink (perhaps in the 1950’s)! There was evidence of this when we first purchased the building as portions of the rink flooring that was laid over the concrete floor still remained. Unfortunately, due to years of water damage because of a leaky roof, the roller skating floor surface could not be saved.
The last user of the building was Iron Men, Inc., a metalworking shop that produced ornamental iron such as fences, window grates, etc.
We welcome any additional stories, or corrections, related to the building or the history of the 4900 block of Pentridge St.