William White Smelting Works, c.1881
1506-1514 Wilt Street, Philadelphia PA 19125
© Stuart Paul Dixon,
Workshop of the
World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).
The William White Smelting
Works is representative of the nineteenth-century
industries that dotted Fishtown's residential
neighborhoods. The smelting works consists of two
one-story buildings. Both originally had monitored-gable
ends facing Wilt Street. The north building has had its
monitor roof removed and currently has a flat roof. The
first stories of both buildings have been stuccoed. The
monitor gable of the south shop features a corbeled
cornice, a louvered oriel window centrally placed in the
monitor, and whitewashed brick. The sidelights of the
monitor have been covered with asphalt shingles and tar
paper. Five bays on the northwest elevation have been
filled in with cinder block. A square draft stack rises
from the rear southeast corner of the buildings.
William H. White purchased the Wilt Street lots in 1881. An 1880 industrial census lists the "White Bros." as a brass founder. A 1916 industrial census describes the "White & Bro. Smelting and Refining Company" employing sixty-three people, many in facilities on Richmond and Hedley Streets northeast of Fishtown. White refined metals in the Wilt Street shops until 1926, when the property passed to his heirs. In 1950, the Enterprise Metal Company acquired the buildings to store scrap metal.
Update May 2007 (by Torben Jenk):
Stucco covers the brick below the charming decorative brick pediment. Large steel roll down doors fill the two large openings. The small door to the west and a window with a window box suggest this has been converted partially for residential use, the rest being for the owner's contracting business.