Rice, John



Rice, John


According to his 1880 obituary, John Rice was born in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia and apprenticed as a carpenter. After finishing his apprenticeship, he undertook the business of building, at which he flourished. According to the obituary, he was responsible for building many of the markets in the City, including the markethouse at Broad and Race streets; South Western Market, 19th and Market streets; Franklin Market; Eastern Market, 5th Street above Chestnut; Farmers Market, 12th Street. However, his reputation would spread beyond Philadelphia when he became one of the contractors for the marble to be used in the extension of the U. S. Capitol, under Thomas Ustick Walter. According to the obituary, his last large building commission was for the Asylum for the Insane at Norristown, PA. A member of the Fairmount Park Commission, Rice also served as a member of the Public Building Commission, an organization of which he was elected president in October 1870, and from which he retired on 17 April 1872. Rice was elected a member of the Carpenters' Company in 1839. 
Biography from the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. A project of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
Written by Sandra L. Tatman.

Member Number


Last Name


First Name


Deceased Date


Date Elected


Committee Membership

Managing Committee, 1864,65

Business Address

70 Noble St. (CD) (1840)


427 Chestnut St. - Bank building (1854-55)
315 Chestnut St. - Bank building (1865-67)
St. George's House (British Bldg. of Centennial Exhibition)


City Records D.C. Liens book#406; filed May 26, 1858; satisfied with judgment John Rice vs. The President, Directors and Company of the Bank of Pennsylvania. Claim for $3500 against a 4-story fireproof granite and brick building and banking house situate on the north side of Chestnut street 141 feet 4 inches westward from the west side of 4th street, 70 feet 4 inches front on Chestnut street and 210 feet more or less deep, and the lot of ground. --------------------- City Records D.C. Liens book #407; filed January 2, 1864; satisfied June 7, 1869 John Rice vs. Benjamin Orne. Claim for $3,736.30 for work done and materials furnished against all that certain 4-story marble and brick store and lot of ground situated on the south side of Chestnut street at the distance of 67 feet 2 1/3 inches west of 9th street containing in front 33 feet 9 3/4 inches and in depth southward through to George street. ------------------- City Records D.C. Liens book #407; filed February17, 1864; satisfied with judgment John Rice vs. George Howell. Claim for $8,387.85 for work done and materials furnished against all that 4-story marble and brick store and lot of ground situated on the southwest corner of Chestnut and 9th streets, containing in front on Chestnut street 34 feet 1 2/3 inches and extending in length or depth southwardly 235 feet to Sansom street. ------------------ City Directory - 1840 - John, carpenter, 70 Noble. 1845 - John, carpenter, Dillwyn below Noble; house 240 N. 5th. 1850 - John, builder & lumber yard, 6th & Coates Bus. Dir. (APS) 1860, pg. 1033: John Rice, S.W. 9th & Sansom, contractor Bus. Dir. (APS) 1878, pg. 165: John Rice, 124 S. 7th, carpenter & Builder ----------------- "Philadelphia Preserved" page 71 - As builder of bank building (1854-55) at 427 Chestnut St. page 73 - As builder of bank building (1865-67) as 315 Chestnut St. page 75 - As builder of storage vaults 100-112 and 101-27 Granite St., beneath sidewalks and street; demolished 1960. page 233 - As builder of St. George's House, also known as British Building, for 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Located west of Belmont Ave.; demolished 1963.

File Number