James McClees (1821-1887), a pioneer Philadelphia photographer, produced a significant number of the oldest paper photographs held in the graphics collection. The views, dated 1853-1859, depict prominent residential, public, and commercial buildings that document the changing architectural landscape of the city of Philadelphia. A large number of the images show churches and educational institutions, including Seventh Presbyterian Church, Dr. Chamber’s Independent Church, the Fourth Baptist Church, Central High School, Jefferson Medical College, and the Spring Garden Institute. In addition, views of the Old London Coffee House, the Graff house, the State House, and Chestnut Street Theatre record the historic city that was becoming overshadowed by newer construction such as the Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Spring Garden Institute, and the West Philadelphia Water Works. McClees also photographed prominent residences; bridges over the Schuylkill; the aftermath of the 1856 fire at Sixth and Market streets; businesses and industries, including his daguerreotype studio; cemeteries, theaters; hotels; the Fairmount Water Works; and the Academy of Natural Sciences. A series of panoramic views of the city from the State House steeple forms the collection as well.