Exterior view of the Girard Trust Building circa 1916
Photo courtesy of PhillyHistory.org, a project of the Philadelphia Dept of Records.
The Rotunda Building
The rotunda building, which is a reproduction of the Pantheon in Rome, is built of 9,000 tons of Georgia marble. Georgia marble was selected for its natural beauty, and the fact that it was not easily discolored by city dirt or smoke. In the interior, 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.” The marble used for the building cost $500,000 at that time. The entire building’s cost was $1.5 million upon its final completion in 1908.
A relief of Stephen Girard, the Trust Company’s founder, is carved on the tympanum above the entrance. The dome spans over 101 feet. At its time, it was the largest dome in the Western Hemisphere. The oculus in the dome is approximately 140 feet from the floor. The Girard Trust bank tellers and vault were originally housed in this building.
Today, the rotunda building is home to the hotel lobby and Aqimero, a restaurant and bar by Richard Sandoval.