Dyottville Glass Works Homes

Dyott-Glass-Works-1831_2

T. W. Dyott’s Glass Works at Kensington on the Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, 1831. Image courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Dyottville Glass Works Homes
1122, 1123-1125, 1130-1136 East Hewson Street
Built: c.1815-1825
Threat: Development

Although less recognized than sites such as the Disston Saw Works or the Stetson Hat Company, notable experiments in industrial/residential paternalism, the Dyottville Glass Works nonetheless represents an important piece of Kensington’s early manufacturing history. The plant and its legacy were brought further into focus as the result of the recent archaeological study and PennDOT improvements along I-95. The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum’s Douglas Mooney, who supervised the project, has called the area fronting Beach and Richmond streets one of the most important archeological sites in the city.

Operating on the former site of the Kensington Glass Works (c. 1816-1833) along the banks of the Delaware River, proprietor Thomas W. Dyott sought to create a self-sufficient community around his burgeoning glass works empire. Ten homes on the 1100 block of East Berks Street are currently listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, designated in 1967 for their early American provenance and known association with the Dyottville Glass Works (although some have since been demolished).

The homes on East Hewson Street, the immediate northeast neighbor to East Berks, are of similar age, stock and integrity; however, they currently have no such protection. Two-and-one-half-stories tall and featuring central dormers, pitched roofs and shared chimneys at their party wall, the homes on the 1100 block of East Hewson are a remnant of early American domestic architecture that has been all too readily erased from this “City of Homes.” With residential construction rapidly encroaching further into Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond, now is the time to ensure their protection.

 

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