At the corner of Fifth and Cooper Streets, two large residences built in the 1880s represent the height of Camden’s nineteenth-century prosperity and the transition of a fashionable neighborhood following the 1926 completion of the first bridge across the Delaware River to Philadelphia. Anchoring a key intersection within the Cooper Street Historic District, these houses contribute to the National Register of Historic Places’ recognition of Cooper Street’s significance in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, “when industry, commerce, and agriculture combined to make this city the economic and urban center of Southern New Jersey.” They demonstrate transitions from nineteenth-century trades, to real estate development, to the practice of medicine in the houses on Cooper Street. Read more about the buildings that currently house the Rutgers-Camden Departments of History and Religion and Philosophy.
The proximity of Camden to Philadelphia has had mixed results throughout Camden’s history, but one benefit to the close proximity between the cities is the range of occupants who made Camden their home. The family of Grayson Mallet-Prevost may have only lived in Camden for a duration of three years, but as residents of 312 Cooper Street from 1878 to 1880 they give an international flair to the history of the Cooper Street Historic District and show how easily people made the transition between living in Philadelphia and Camden in the late nineteenth century. Continue reading