New Market in South Second Street
Courtesy Independence Hall National Historic Park
W. R. Birch (17-55–1834), Philadelphia . . . in the Year 1800
In 1845 the busy activity of the markets on High Street was matched by a new market on a slight elevation above Dock Creek, between Walnut and South Streets. The neighborhood was called Society Hill, from the Society of Traders that once had an office there.
The building at the north end of the market (left), at Pine Street, under construction in 1803, stored firefighting equipment on the ground floor behind the doors flanking the arch. Another firehouse, called a "head house," also with a cupola, stood two blocks south at the far end of the sheds. Alarms presumably sounded from either cupola. The proximity of the two stations testifies to the high property value of the area, a development foreseen by the merchants who contributed to the building of the first sheds. The block still contains houses present at the time of the visits of Lewis and Clark. In the 1960s the Head House was restored and the sheds rebuilt to their original appearance.
Funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Program