Philadelphia Contributionship

Address: 210 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Neighborhood: Society Hill


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Description: In 1752, Benjamin Franklin founded and organized the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. It was the first fire insurance company in the United States and originated the practice of setting rates according to the quality of the risk. The Contributionship became a pioneer in the development of the insurance industry across the nation—despite the fact that it has never issued a policy beyond Philadelphia’s immediate environs. Since 1836 this 3 1⁄2-story red brick building, designed by architect Thomas U. Walter, has been the company’s headquarters.

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  • No admission; functioning property


  • First in the nation – Philadelphia’s “firsts”
  • Business of life – stories of daily life, business, industry, commerce

Link to NHL Nomination Form