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Iconic landmark in the heart of Philadelphia's Center City

Originally built as The Girard Trust Company, the rotunda with an accompanying eight story tower was built between 1904 and 1908.  The Girard Trust Company president, E.B. Morris favored a neoclassical style made popular by that era’s Chicago World’s Fair and contracted the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White for the Girard Trust project. The architectural firm was famous for the design of the original Madison Square Garden, Columbia University Library, Washington Square Arch and Boston Symphony Hall.

The building transitioned to the Girard Trust Corn Exchange in 1951 followed by the Girard Bank in 1970 and the Mellon Bank East in 1984. At the turn of the century, the iconic landmark building was converted into a hotel and opened as The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia in 2000. 

The Rotunda Building

The rotunda building, which is a reproduction of the Pantheon in Rome, is built of 9,000 tons of Georgia marble. Much of the marble is from the Carerra quarry in Italy—the same quarry where marble was mined for use in Michelangelo’s statue of “David.”  

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The Adjoining Tower

The adjoining tower was added in 1923, and was originally eight stories high. In 1931, the tower was wrapped in steel and marble to reach a height of thirty stories. This building housed the bank offices and board rooms. What today is The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge was formerly the Executive Board Room of Girard Trust.

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The Vault

The stairs leading to what today is The Grand Ballroom (formerly the vault of Girard Bank) are warped on one side. The stairs were built for the ladies to make their “grand entrance” into the vault to retrieve their jewels on Friday for their weekend social event

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Hotel Redesign

In 2016, the hotel completed a $24 million hotel redesign including all new guest rooms and suites, meeting and event spaces, Club Lounge and a refreshed lobby experience with new restaurant and bar opening in early June.  

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