Tue, 02 Jul 2019
Most important, the perplexing “hotel” is not intended for humans. “Hotel” is apparently stockyard jargon for a place where livestock are quartered temporarily just prior to slaughter. I am so glad to have this cleared up.
Also, M. Rosenstein has a photograph of the fancy abattoir with the spires:
They don't make industrial buildings like they used to. Check out the ornamental pattern in the bricks on the lower floor and the baluster along the riverside façade.
[ Addendum: Josh Bevan of Hidden City Philadelphia on When Cattle Men Reigned In The West (of Philadelphia). ]
Yesterday on my other blog I posted about the most hilariously mislocated hotel I've ever heard of. It's the hotel that in 1910 was located in the Philadelphia stockyards, just the other side of the railroad tracks from the hog pens, between the slaughter house and the abbatoir:
I thought that would be the end of it, but Chas. Owens did a little digging around and found a picture of the hotel, provided by the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network. It's from R. Hexamer's insurance survey of 1877. At that time, the building was partly a hotel and partly the offices of the Philadelphia Stock Yard Company.
The survey includes a map of the site and a description of the facilities. Here's the detailed plan of the hotel:
The full image is 105 MB:
None of these buildings is still standing. (As I mentioned yesterday, the site is now occupied by the Cira Centre.) But the neighborhood's history as the center of Philadelphia's meatpacking district is not completely lost. According to this marvelous article from Hidden City Philadelphia, in 1906 the D.B. Martin company built a new combination office building and slaughterhouse only two blocks away at 3000 Market Street. Here's my favorite detail from the article:
That building still stands, although I believe it's no longer used as a slaughterhouse.
[ Addendum 20190702: The “hotel” is explained: it is a temporary residence for livestock, not for humans. ]