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THE HISTORY OF OUR DESIGN

When The Girard Trust Company president E.B. Morris set out to build his company home, he contracted the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, best known for their design of the original Madison Square Garden, Columbia University Library, Washington Square Arch and Boston Symphony Hall.

Built between 1904 and 1908, the rotunda and accompanying eight-story tower reflected the neoclassical style made popular by the era’s Chicago World’s Fair. The building transitioned to the Girard Trust Corn Exchange in 1951, the Girard Bank in 1970 and the Mellon Bank East in 1984. At the turn of the century, the historic building was converted into a hotel and opened as The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia in 2000.

The Rotunda Building

A reproduction of the Pantheon in Rome, the rotunda was built with 9,000 tons of Georgia marble, much from Italy’s Carerra quarry where marble was mined for use in Michelangelo’s statue of “David.”

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The Adjoining Tower

An eight-story tower was added in 1923, and in 1931 it was wrapped in steel and marble to reach a height of 30 stories. This building housed the bank offices and board rooms. Our hotel’s Club Lounge was once the Executive Board Room of Girard Trust.

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The Vault

Stairs lead to what is now our Grand Ballroom. Built for ladies to make their “grand entrance” into the vault to retrieve their jewels for weekend social events, the stairs are now warped on one side but no less impressive.

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Hotel Redesign

In 2016, our hotel in Philadelphia’s historic district completed a $25-million redesign including new guest rooms and suites, meeting and event spaces, bar and restaurant and a Club Lounge.

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