Category Archives: Cities & Towns

Conflagration of the Assembly Building, Corner of Tenth and George Streets, Philadelphia (1851)

DescriptionEnglish: Conflagration of the Assembly Building, Corner of Tenth and George Streets, Philadelphia, from an 1851 magazine
SourceGleason’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion (
AuthorSigned “W. Groome”

Text from the original publication: The engraving given below, presents a view of a disastrous fire which recently occurred in the grocery and tea store in the first story of the Assembly Building, Philadelphia, on the corner of Tenth and George streets. The fire burned through the stairway of the second story, which gave an impetus to the flame, and in a little while the whole interior of the southern part of the edifice was on fire. So dense was the smoke that the firemen were compelled to desist, and battle for a long period with the devouring element from the street. As soon as the smoke cleared away, the upper part of the building was reached through the two stairways on Tenth street and on George street. The Assembly Building was four stories in height, and was erected in 1834, by a company of gentlemen. It was intended as a place for public meetings and society rooms, but of late years it has been used for various other purposes, such as exhibition balls, dancing academies, hall for exhibition of panoramas, etc. John J. Ridgway, Esq., who now resides in Paris, was the owner of the Assembly Building, having purchased it in September of 1846, from Edward E. Marvin. The workmen are already at their posts to repair the damages done by the devouring elements, and soon a new building will be erected.