Druid Hall

I go up Harrison Street at least once a week and pass the forlorn remains of a home at 1664.  Back in 1887 it was owned by Emma B. Middleton.  In more recent times it was owned by the man who had the magic shop at 4455 Frankford Avenue for many years.  Less well known is that is was also the headquarters of the International Druidic Society.  The magic store man was a druid.  That is druid like in witches I believe. I unofficially named it Druid Hall when I heard about that years ago.

I had heard that it eventually was purchased by some New Yorkers but the OPA web site says that it is now owned by BODZIAK JANUSZ at 1683 FILLMORE ST.

It has been cleaned up in the last few months and below are a few pictures of what it looks like today.  Given the physical condition, I can’t imagine what the plan is for this building.  It is really a blot on the neighborhood.  Anybody have any information on what is going on there?

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  • Warren

    He he, back in the late 60’s, as a kid, we would play around in that large yard. There were lots of kids on Fillmore st behind that property. At that time the house was pretty nice but not perfect. One year they opened it up as a haunted house for Halloween. It was a great setting for that purpose.

    Warren

  • Warren

    That house existed in 1876 and was owned by E. Arthur. The property ran all the way back to Fillmore st before they built the row houses there. Apparently at that time that property had an outhouse, carriage house or barn that faced Fillmore st.

    You can see it on this map:

    http://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/GMH1876.PhilaWard23.008.PlateD

    It might have existed in 1862 as shown on this less than detailed map:

    http://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/SMD1860.Phila.029.Section24

    Warren

  • Gil

    Thanks for the research Warren. I only went back so far. Do you have any idea what the oldest house is on that area. I would like to ferret them out and show some pictures.

  • Warren

    This set of twins on this block is very old that are still around. They show up at about the same time as the Druid house. They survived when many of the houses from that era have been torn down:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1710+Harrison+Street,+Philadelphia,+PA&layer=c&sll=40.017512,-75.078465&cbp=13,44.99,,0,-4.72&cbll=40.017454,-75.078324&hl=en&sspn=0.006295,0.006295&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1710+Harrison+St,+Philadelphia,+Pennsylvania+19124&ll=40.017525,-75.074344&spn=0,0.021887&z=16&panoid=9P-9NlHZrT1alvRkNzqakg

    I was in one of those as a kid since I had a buddy that lived there.

    Warren

  • bishop

    let’s see if the magic man can pull a new house out of his ass

  • susan valentin

    The magic man was named Dr. Edward Turner…he was an icon on
    Frankford avenue in that magic shop for years…in his earlier days he was a medical doctor…he was my friend…he was a man who wanted to share his magic tricks with anyone who was looking to learn…I believe he was on TV long time ago on a topic of being psyhic…he was a nice man & I miss him. susan