About the building
The building was completed in 1889 as a Romanesque Revival building with a hipped roof, two front cross-gables, an arched entrance, and two storefronts.
Now the home of Hiram Lodge 81, the building was constructed as the Knights of Pythias’ Preservation Lodge 46. The exterior of the building underwent numerous changes in the early 1900s, including alterations to the facades of the storefronts and the addition of fire escapes. The most changes occurred in 1960, when the front façade was “colonialized” during a program to rebrand Chestnut Hill’s business district as a “horizontal department store.”
The building’s architect, George T. Pearson, designed more than a dozen Significant buildings in Chestnut Hill, including several at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the Keewaydin complex, and many other residences throughout the community. Most, like this building, are considered to be Significant historic resources in the Chestnut Hill National Register Historic District, but are not listed on the Philadelphia Register.