On this site, the southeast corner of Second and Market Streets on Market Square, stood the Jones House, a mid-Nineteenth Century Hotel, which later evolved into the larger Commonwealth Hotel and later, the Dauphin Building. It was here that Abraham Lincoln stopped on February 22, 1861, en-route to his inauguration in Washington DC. The President-Elect greeted and spoke to city residents in the Square and went by carriage to the State Capitol Building to address the Pennsylvania Legislature as the guest of strong ally Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin. Although Lincoln was scheduled to stay overnight at the Jones House, threat of an assassin forced his unscheduled early morning departure by way of a more obscure train station outside the city. And it was on this site, in an earlier log building, that George Washington stayed in October of 1794 while traveling to western Pennsylvania to suppress the "Whiskey Insurrection." This log house was later renamed "Washington Inn" in honor of the President's stay. The Jones House, built in 1853, was later known as the Leland Hotel and was subsequently enlarged in the same architectural style and renamed the Commonwealth Hotel. A major fire in 1921 resulted in the building's total redesign and conversion to office space. Named the Dauphin Building because it was owned by the former Dauphin Deposit Bank, the building was demolished in 1990 to accommodate the Bank's new headquarters, now the Allfirst Tower.
Photo - Bottom Left
1917 postcard view of the enlarged structure then known as the Commonwealth Hotel.
Photo - Left
1885 view over the old Market Houses of the Jones House, renamed the Leland Hotel.