Inquirer Building

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The Inquirer Building
(Elverson Building)
Inquirer Building is located in Philadelphia
Inquirer Building
Inquirer Building is located in Pennsylvania
Inquirer Building
Inquirer Building is located in the United States
Inquirer Building
Location400 N. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°57′36″N 75°09′44″W / 39.959993°N 75.16233139°W / 39.959993; -75.16233139Coordinates: 39°57′36″N 75°09′44″W / 39.959993°N 75.16233139°W / 39.959993; -75.16233139
Area7.5 acres (3.0 ha)
ArchitectRankin, Kellogg & Crane
Roydhouse, Arey, Co.
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts[2]
NRHP reference No.96000716[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 15, 1996

The Inquirer Building, formerly called the Elverson Building, is an eighteen-story building at the intersction of North Broad and Callowhill Streets in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, completed in 1924 as the new home for the newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer, which was joined by the Philadelphia Daily News in 1957.[3] The original name refers to James Elverson, the publisher of the Inquirer from 1889 until his death in 1911. His son, "Colonel" James Elverson Jr., took over as publisher, and had the building constructed and dedicated to his father.[4][5] As of 2019, the building is being renovated to house the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department.[6]

History and description[edit]


Construction began on the building in July 1923.[3] It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Rankin, Kellogg & Crane, and was, at the time, the tallest building north of City Hall.[2] Its gold dome, and the four-faced clock under it, could be seen for many miles.[5] The building is 340 feet (100 m) tall.[7]

As headquarters of the Inquirer[edit]

Sign over the building's entrance (2006)

The first issue of the Inquirer printed at the building came out on July 13, 1925. The newspaper operation was considered at the time to have the most modern printing plant in the world,[3] with the largest composing room and fastest printing presses. The building also featured an auditorium and an assembly hall, and had its own refrigeration and water filtration plant.[5]

The interior features a globe chandelier in the lobby, and a catwalk over the former press room.[8] Elverson and his wife made their home on the building's 12th and 13th floors.[5]

In 1996 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Elverson Building.

An extension to the building at 440 N. Broad Street, called the Rotogravure Building and designed by Albert Kahn Associates, was built in 1948 by Walter Annenberg, who was the owner of the newspapers at the time. It was sold in 2005 by Knight-Ridder. In 2011 the extension was made the headquarters of the Philadelphia School District.[2][7]

Sale to Bart Blatstein and redevelopment[edit]

The building's tower as seen from Vine Street near Logan Circle (2013)

In late July 2011, it was announced that Philadelphia Media Network, which owned the newspapers and the building, was selling the 526,000-square-foot (48,900 m2) building to a developer for a price believed to be more than $19 million.[2] That deal closed in October, and the next month the company announced that a downsized operation (125,000 square feet (11,600 m2)) would move into the renovated former Strawbridge & Clothier store at 8th and Market Streets in the Market Street East area. [3] The relocation to the building's third floor was completed by July 2012.

The developer who bought the Inquirer Building, Bart Blatstein, announced in May 2015 that he would attempt to turn the building into a 125-room boutique hotel. He applied for $5 million in funding from Pennsylvania to go towards the $36.4 million project. According to Blatstein's schedule, construction would begin in August 2016. Blatstein had originally planned on using the building as part of a hotel/casino complex. Blatstein said that he wanted to preserve the building and its historical features, although his previous casino plan, "The Provence", called for new construction in a "faux-French theme", which drew criticism as being "tacky".[8][9]

However, Blatstein failed to receive the necessary licensing from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.[10] In 2017 Blatstein abandoned plans to use the building as a hotel, opting instead to lease the building to the Philadelphia Police Department to serve as the new headquarters. The City plans to buy the building from Blatstein at the end of the lease.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Heavens, Alan J. (29 July 2011). "Inquirer sells its Building". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Fernandez, Bob (15 November 2011). "Inquirer and Daily News moving to Eighth and Market". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  4. ^ Williams, Edgar (June 20, 2003). "A history of The Inquirer". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
  5. ^ a b c d Hunter, Sarah L. (researcher). "Philadelphia Inquirer Building" Archived 2015-06-26 at the Wayback Machine Hidden City, Philadelphia
  6. ^ Newall, Mike (April 24, 2019). "The old Inquirer Building is soon to become Police Headquarters. My tour was bittersweet". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Inquirer Building, Philadelphia". Emporis. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b Webb, Molly (2 October 2013). "Blatstein's Four Reasons Why The Provence is Philly's Best Bet". Curbed. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ Saffron, Inga (April 18, 2013). "Changing Skyline: Reviewing the 'plans' for Philly's second casino". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  10. ^ Adelman, Jacob (1 May 2015). "Blatstein pushes new hotel project on Broad Street". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  11. ^ Adelman, Jacob (24 May 2019). "Philly Police Department to move into former Inquirer, Daily News building on N. Broad". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  12. ^ Adelman, Jacob (14 July 2017). "Blatstein poised to cash in on Philly police HQ plan". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2019.

External links[edit]