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Ohio House

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1875–1876, Heard Brothers. 4700 States Dr., West Fairmount Park
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  • (HABS)
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With the exception of Maine, the states of the victorious Union contributed buildings to the Centennial Exhibition; of the vanquished South, only Virginia and Tennessee were able to afford the costs, both actual and psychic. These pavilions typically took on the form of a contemporary house, modified so as to express something characteristic about that state. That of Connecticut, for example, was an early attempt at the Colonial Revival. The theme of Ohio's building, an Old English essay in frame and sandstone, is geology. Its stone base is labeled with stones from the various quarries that made Ohio a nationally prominent producer of yellow sandstone, a staple of Victorian architecture.

Belmont Avenue beyond the Ohio House became a center for church-sponsored retirement homes. Several are architecturally notable including the immense Simpson Home of the Methodist Church (1897) by Hales and Ballinger, a firm usually associated with industrial design. Their institutional Gothic Revival building with its green copper-clad lantern faces Monument Avenue. Thomas P. Lonsdale designed the stern-looking Methodist Orphanage just to the east in 1896. It attests to the harsh working conditions of the end of the nineteenth century when children were orphaned as many of the city's workers were maimed or killed in the new high-speed industries pioneered in Philadelphia.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Ohio House", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 123-123.

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