Peirce College at 1608 Walnut

Peirce College's New Center City Location

For the fifth time in our history, Peirce College has a new main campus location. 

In March 2023, the College moved our main campus to 1608 Walnut Street, where we now occupy the entire 19th floor. The 12,000 square-foot location allowed Peirce to create a flexible, modern and modular space aligned with the evolving, post-pandemic needs of our institution and our students.

Peirce’s new campus is located in a Center City landmark, the former Sun Oil Building, an Art Deco masterpiece that served as the headquarters of the Sun Oil Company from the building’s opening in 1928 to 1971. It is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

The new location provides more flex space to better meet the changing needs of our students and our institution, including instruction and administrative space, student services, hoteling and collaborative space. 

Public parking and access to mass transit is closer to the new campus, which also has higher retail foot traffic that offers increased visibility to working adults the general public. 


Why did Peirce College move? 

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Peirce quickly and successfully pivoted to fully online and remote operations. During this time (in the first year of the pandemic), we asked ourselves how we should reimagine Peirce to serve our students and our community,  especially now.

We asked our students where they would ideally like to access on-site classes and student services and Center City was the overwhelming response. In 2022, we began offering hybrid classes and student services on campus, but students have not yet shown a strong interest in returning to campus. 

During the first year of the pandemic, we also explored whether our current campus at 1420 Pine Street was the best location for the Peirce community, especially today. Due to its smaller room sizes and lack of flex space, we determined that the building would be challenging to use post-pandemic. We also understood that 1420 Pine Street could create opportunities that could generate revenue for the institution. 

Lastly, we have realized that many operations at Peirce can successfully be done remotely.

Why did the College select 1608 Walnut Street? 

Over the past several months, we explored potential new locations for our campus in the Center City district. We selected 1608 Walnut Street because it provides Peirce with a blank canvas that efficiently allows us to create a campus that is aligned with our evolving needs and reimagined operations. Some of the key benefits of the new location include: 

  • Public parking and access to mass transit that is closer to our campus.
  • It gives Peirce an entire floor (12,000 SF) that provides more flex space to better meet the changing needs of our students and our institution, including instruction and administrative space, and hoteling and collaborative space.
  • It is located in an area with higher retail foot traffic that offers increased visibility to working adults and the general public. Peirce is exploring additional locations for potential satellite locations, based on the needs of our students and partners. 

What will happen to 1420 Pine Street? 

Peirce College is currently exploring its options, which include potentially leasing or selling the property. 

Is this the first time Peirce College has moved its main campus? 

No. This is actually the fifth main campus location for Peirce College. What all of the moves have in common is that they were made based on the changing needs of our students and our institution. 

When Thomas May Peirce founded Union Business College in 1865, classes were held on the second floor of Handel and Haydn Hall, a small concert hall at 9th and Spring Garden streets. 

In 1869, the school moved to the Inman Building at 10th and Chestnut streets, where it would remain for over a decade. Chestnut Street was the heart of the business and financial community of the city in the 19th Century, and moving the College there allowed Peirce to build a reputation which helped graduates gain positions with prominent Philadelphia companies.  

In 1882, the institution – now known as the Peirce College of Business and Shorthand – moved to a larger space on the upper floors of the Philadelphia Record Building, located at 9th and Chestnut. 

Peirce purchased the former Delancey School building at 1420 Pine Street in 1915 and remained there for more than 100 years. In the 1960s, the College considered moving to Devon, PA, but decided to remain at the Pine Street location.

Questions about getting started at Peirce College? 

Contact us today!



Phone: 215.670.9104

Toll-free: 1.888.467.3472, ext. 9104


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