The John Samuel Naylor Photograph Collection highlights the rich variety of architecture in Chestnut Hill in the era between 1900 and 1910.
The Naylor Photograph Collection is comprised of 125 black and white 5" x 7" photographs representing 80 properties with one unidentified residential structure, Rittenhouse Square in Center City, Philadelphia, and, one of Naylor's Peoples Iron Foundry in Center City. Of these 80 properties, 23 structures have been demolished. Many of the remaining 57 structures can be seen today as in the time of Naylor’s photographs. Since then, many of these structures have had minimal to substantial alterations while others appear similar to the images in the original photographs.
These photographs taken with Naylor's 4"x5" Speed Graflex camera convey his main interest in photographing overall exterior views of freestanding buildings placed in their physical and natural context during the winter or summer seasons with the exception of Rittenhouse Square. These structures, originally built on cleared farmlands, are now surrounded by lush vegetation.. Some buildings are quickly recognizable, although, closer study will often show both subtle and major distinctions over the past 100 years. Viewers also can glimpse some of the more ephemeral accouterments of the streetscapes that have disappeared over time - street lamps, fences, paving, and outbuildings.
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