At one time Washington Square was a major location for publishing in Philadelphia. While the companies are gone or moved away, four buildings still stand but have been repurposed.
On the east side of the Square is the J.B. Lippincott building, now condos going by the name The Lippincott. I used to work in this building many years ago.
There is currently a 2,306 square foot unit available for a mere $1.75 million.
On the south side of the Square is the Locks Gallery.
This was formerly the home of Lea & Febiger, a publisher that traced its roots back to 1785. After various sales, both J.B. Lippincott and Lea & Febiger became part of Wolters Kluwer.
On the west side is the Farm Journal building.
Now Farm Journal Media, the company is elsewhere in Philadelphia. The building currently houses Pennsylvania Hospital medical offices.
On the north side is the Curtis Center. Once the home of Curtis Publishing Company, owner of popular magazines like Ladies Home Journal and Saturday Evening Post, the building is currently being rehabbed into apartments.
There is a major attraction in the lobby open to the public, The Dream Garden mosaic installed in 1916 and almost sold and removed in 1998. The link has the history of how the mosaic was saved.
Designed by Maxfield Parrish and fabricated by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it is made up of over 100,000 pieces of glass.
I took a detail photo to show the glass pieces.
Washington Square is a great example of how Philadelphia keeps its architectural past while adapting to changing circumstances.
2 thoughts on “Philly’s Publishing Past on Washington Square”
I enjoyed working in the Curtis Center when I worked at WB Saunders.
I love this article. Very interesting and of course personally relatable. I should stop by to see the mosaic.
Noting there is a “was” missing from this sentence “The Dream Garden mosaic installed in 1916 and almost sold and removed in 1998.”.
Hope you are enjoying the summer! I was in Delaware the last week for the annual Wood family reunion. It was fun and we had great beach weather – staying in Bethany Beach.
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