Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia

Heywood Brothers Chair Factory, 1892
1010-1014 Race Street, Philadelphia PA 19107

Helene Schenck & Michael Parrington, Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).

The Heywood Company began in Massachusetts in 1826. The firm was noted for its production of bentwood furniture in the style of Michael Thonet, and was commended at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 for "the perfection acquired in the use of bentwood, thereby securing strength and weight . . . and for general excellence in manufacture and finish." 1 By the end of the nineteenth century, the company was supplying primarily academic markets; for example Cope and Stewardson used Heywood chairs and tables when they furnished Bryn Mawr College in the 1890s.
The second warehouse of the Heywood Company was opened in Philadelphia in the spring of 1874 at 802-804 Market Street. In 1881, the firm moved into a newly developing commercial zone at the northwest corner of Broad and Cherry Streets. At that time, it was also listed as making children's carriages.
Between 1892 and 1908, the Heywood Brothers production plant was at 1010-1014 Race Street; this change in location from a commercial street to a manufacturing street may suggest a change in the role of their products from fashionable to utilitarian by the end of the century. In 1908, they moved to another large building at 244-254 South 5th Street, where they were still in operation in 1926. That building is now demolished.
The building at 1010-1014 Race Street was built from plans of late Victorian architect Willis G. Hale, and is representative of that architect's florid Victorian style, while incorporating some of the stylistic changes of the 1890s.  
In the twentieth century, the building remained a manufacturing loft, with clothing being produced there. The first floor was converted into a Chinese restaurant, typical of the region, which by the 1890-1900 period had become Philadelphia's Chinatown.  Today the building houses a Quality Inn.
1   Anon., A Completed Century, 1826-1926: The Story of Heywood-Wakefield Company .

Update May 2007 (by Harry Kyriakodis):
Still standing. The building had flown the flag of Quality Inn, Ramada Suites, and Clarion Suites, from 1985 to 2002. It has since been converted into a condominium called "TenTen."