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Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Ridgway Library)

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Ridgway Library
1873–1878, Addison Hutton; 1997 adapted as high school, Kise, Straw and Kolodner. 901 S. Broad St.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

A Greek Revival anachronism in the High Victorian era, the former Ridgway Library resembles other idiosyncratic local institutions created by strong-willed donors, including Girard College ( PH127) and the Wagner Free Institute of Science ( PH128). Like them, it too was to serve as a mausoleum. Dr. James Rush, son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, bequeathed his fortune to the Library Company on condition they build a library on this unfashionable South Philadelphia site, interring him and his wife within. Hutton's building was appropriately funerary, although its tough, hard-edged granite distinguishes it from the soft marble of the genuine Greek Revival. Abandoned for thirty years it has been adapted as Philadelphia's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts as an anchor of the Broad Street Arts District.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Ridgway Library)", [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, 91-92.

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