Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Remembering 'A Great Store in a Great City': Lit Brothers

"A Great Store in a Great City." 

The Lit Brothers were Samuel and Jacob 
and somehow they seem to get all the credit 
for a clothing store actually started by their sister, 
Rachel P. Lit Weddel Arnold 

Rachel started a woman's clothing store in 1891. 
But the brothers do deserve some credit 
because their vision helped her little corner shop 
become one of the largest retail stores in Philadelphia. 

As her store grew, 
the surrounding buildings were somehow 
cobbled together to create the structure of today. 
The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

Rachel differentiated herself from the competition 
by trimming hats purchased in her shop at no charge. 
I love that the signage remains, mostly. 


And ghost signs still remain in the city 
but the store is long gone. 
The Lit Brothers chain of stores closed in 1977.

The building sat vacant for nearly a decade 
until it was purchased and repurposed into 
the office and commercial spaces of today. 

Lit Brothers, 1898: “Lit Brothers, Millinery, Cloaks” | Photo: Free Library of Philadelphia Historical Images of Philadelphia Collection

Thankfully the beautiful facade remains, 
except for the hideous (imo) 
large video billboards attached to the roof today 
which are a total misfit with the historic architecture. 
Yuck, I can't even bring myself to post a photo of it. 

The Lit Brothers Building is located at 
8th & Market Streets in Center City, Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia is located in the SE corner of Pennsylvania. 


MadSnapper said...

an absolutely beautiful building. back in those days women got no credit for what they did.. glad they preserved the building.. now I am off to look up hat trimming.

Tamar SB said...

I just love Philly history!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Thank you for sparing us the hideousness of the video boards, how awful! The rest of the building is fabulous. It reminds me of some of the old buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. I am so glad it has new life.