A reader checked in, wondering about some workers going in and out of 731 N 20th St., in Francisville. We did a little investigating, and were a little surprised about what we found.
This home is located on an unusual block. Five homes on this street are owned by PHA, all of which are older homes that extend all the way to the sidewalk, unlike any of the other homes on the block. Two of these homes appear occupied, and the other three are, we suspect, vacant. The home next door to the property in question looks like it could collapse tomorrow.
Two more PHA properties to the south
The rest of the homes on the block, like 731 N 20th St., are set back from the street, with parking in front of the houses. We’re not totally sure, but we believe that this entire block was demolished by PHA in the 1980′s and rebuilt as affordable homeownership properties. Looking at a photo of this block from 1959, it’s clear that all of the homes on this street were classic Philly row homes once upon a time.
Looking north, today
Back in 1959
According to the zoning application, the developers of this property intend to tear down the thirty or so year old house, and replace it with a new three story quadplex. The new building will be set back from the street, like most of the other homes on the block, and will have three parking spaces out front. With a lot that’s about 30′ wide and almost 100′ deep, these developers will be making much better use of this giant parcel than a little 1100 sqft home ever could.
Now, if only PHA would
rehab demolish sell that eyesore next door.