You are here

Art Alliance (Samuel Wetherill House)

-A A +A
Samuel Wetherill House
1909, Frank Miles Day and Brother. 251 S. 18th St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)

When Cram and Ferguson's proposal for a small apartment tower behind a screen of shops on Walnut Street fell through, this house was designed for Samuel Wetherill with the intention that it would ultimately house the Art Alliance. Its exterior is the closest approximation to a Renaissance palazzo in the city. It is open to the public for its regularly scheduled art exhibits and also for its restaurant, most recently Opus 251. Rich wood paneling, especially the grand stair on the south side, suggests the original tonality before the interior was painted white to serve as a foil for the modern art that increasingly comprised its exhibitions. It was here that LeCorbusier during the course of his first American lecture tour famously refused to shake Paul P. Cret's hand.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Art Alliance (Samuel Wetherill 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, 100-100.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.