1208 Chestnut Street
|What the shit!?!?!|
The origins of the building itself is very uncertain. Most likely it is the mangled and re-mangled remains of a building built in the mid-1800's. The earliest record of it is this drawing:
|1208 Chestnut in 1880. There's no way to know if this is even the same building. Pic from the PAB.|
The architects that occupied offices in the building 1900-1920's give us a clue to where the fuck that bay window came from. Frank R. Watson, designer of the bay, had an office in the building in 1900. Maybe it was that group of architects that altered the building to have that crazy design on it? Even if that's true, where's the rest of it? Was it only 3 floors then or was it four or was it MORE? The drawing above and the amount of office tenants in the building at the same time implies that the building must have been taller.
|Pieces from the Crazy Bay and whatever other parts of the facade are now lost. From the PAB.|
|There it is on the left and its definitely not 8 stories.|
The Conkling Armstrong Terra Cotta Company, builders of what must have been a kick-ass facade, never bothered to take a picture of it beyond the individual sections in the picture above? That sucks. Usually in a case like this I would look up old aerial photos for clues.. but since much taller buildings exist across the street, I can't get a good pic of the front of the building.
One mystery about this motherfucker just leads to another. If the building was 8 stories, when did it get that way? Once it was reduced to three, what was the logic of keeping that remaining little bit of the facade? All records imply that the drawing from 1880 above and the Crazy Bay Window Building as it stands today are one in the same building. Perhaps that is untrue. One day, when Chestnut East is great again (and it WILL happen), someone's gonna want to know what's up with this shit. Maybe someone will even take on the task of restoring the building to eight stories! Does anyone know what happened here? Can anyone find a picture of what the building looked like at its full height?!?! God fucking dammit!!!