Backstory and Context
The concept of raising a Bourse in Philadelphia was conceived by George E. Bartol, a grain and commodities exporter based out of Philadelphia. In the late 1800s, Bartol embarked on a trip to Europe, an in his time there, he was inspired by the Bourse in Hamburg, Germany, and what it was able to accomplish. Bartol was so impressed that when he returned to Philadelphia, he gained the support of many influential businessmen and merchants and created the Philadelphia Bourse Corporation in order to see his dream of a Philadelphia Bourse realized.
Construction began soon after the founding of the Philadelphia Bourse Corporation, and in 1895, the Philadelphia Bourse Building was open for business as the first commodities exchange in the whole of the United States. From its opening, the Philadelphia Bourse Building prospered, bringing in numerous tenants and their business, and it continued to do so over the following decades. In the 1960s, the Philadelphia Bourse Building ceased its operations as a commodities exchange, but continued to serve office space, and in 1979, it was purchased, renamed as simply the Bourse, and was refurbished in order to offer retail and office space.