Stephen Girard Building (Girard Trusts Building) detail of W façade
The thirteen story Stephen Girard Building at Girard and 12th Streets was begun in 1896 as offices for the Board of the Stephen Girard Estates Trust. The new building was designed by James H. Windrim, a Girard College graduate. Windrim combined classical motifs, like the Ionic portico and entablature facing 12th Street and the eight caryatids flanking the entrance, with the latest "skyscraper" construction. This photograph shows the two caryatids closest to the NW corner. They are modeled closely on the caryatids supporting the roof of the S porch of the Erectheum in Athens; Windrim's caryatids, however, serve no structural function but simply fill a space created by the greater height of the first floor of his building. A few years before Windrim's design,caryatids also appeared on the façade of the 1893 Palace of the Arts housing the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Lee T. Pearcy
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21 South 12th St., Philadelphia, PA
Windrim, James H. (American architect, 1840-1919), “Stephen Girard Building (Girard Trusts Building) detail of W façade,” Classicizing Philadelphia, accessed September 25, 2017, http://www.classicizingphiladelphia.org/items/show/487.