Outside Freeman's in July 2019 - 1.jpg
Freeman’s of Philadelphia is moving to 2400 Market Street.

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Freeman’s of Philadelphia, the oldest continuously-run auction house in the United States, is to move from its home of nearly 100-years to a newly refurbished building overlooking the city’s Schuylkill River.

The firm sold its 1808 Chestnut Street building, a six-storey premises built for the auction house back in 1924, earlier this year and is leasing two properties, still in the centre of Philadelphia.

Its main building at 2400 Market Street features a gallery and saleroom above 5000 sq ft of staff office space.

Reception area in gallery at 2400 Market Street.jpg

The reception at Freeman’s of Philadelphia new saleroom.

The move is the latest stage in a programme to modernise the 210-year old auction house, founded in 1805 by Englishman Tristram Bampfylde Freeman, a former Covent Garden printer.

Dramatic market change

“We’ve been in our current building since 1924,” said Freeman’s chairman, Alasdair Nichol, “but the auction market has dramatically changed since then and the building is no longer fit for purpose.

“This move to a new, custom-designed headquarters is a key component of our contemporary business model and will further establish us as a leading and dynamic 21st century auction house.”

The first sale at 2400 Market Street will be A Grand Old Flag: The Stars and Stripes Collection of Dr Peter J Keim on November 24.

The relocation, spearheaded by Freeman’s chief operating officer, Hanna Dougher, involves more than 50 staff and 13 departments.

Freeman’s is also leasing a second building in Philadelphia, at 1600 West Girard Avenue, as a saleroom targeting emerging markets and young collectors.