Another piece of Philadelphia history seems as though it will soon be demolished. A 25-story mixed-use high rise featuring apartments, retail and office space is planned for 38th & Chestnut next to the Philadelphia Episcopal Church in University City. Last summer, the Historical Commission granted the Church permission to demolish two historic brownstones located on Chestnut Street to make way for the new building. The Church has hired Radnor Property Group to construct the building, which could be completed by 2015, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
The decision to allow demolition prompted John Gallery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, to tell PlanPhilly last year that applicants committed “a very serious series of offenses.” The Church applied for permission to raze the two homes on the grounds that the demolition would allow them…
The aesthetically pleasing townhouse at the corner of Bainbridge and American Streets is a private residence today, listed as 221 Bainbridge Street. However, in its earliest incarnation, as 625 Guilford St. (today American St.), this corner has seen a host of occupants, both in the commercial and public capacities. Its history began as part of the industrial sector permeating the Queen Village neighborhood. According to Samuel L. Smedley’s 1862 Philadelphia Atlas, the building that occupies this corner was a sugar refinery in the mid-19th century.
Sugar refinery in 1862
According to Wikipedia, the Robert Ralston school opened on half of this site in 1869, with W. Lang & Son’s Rock Candy occupying the other half. By the turn of the century, only the Ralston school would remain on this site. The Library of Congress tells that the Ralston School was part…
Over the summer, we broke the news that the Church of the Assumption, the classic structure built over 150 years ago, was under contract with developer John Wei. The church is architect Patrick Charles Keely‘s oldest remaining building, and the subject of its demolition has tied up in the courts since it was approved for demolition by the Historical Commission a couple of years ago.
Two months ago, Judge Idee Fox ruled against L&I for overturning the Historical Commission’s permission to demolish the church, paving the way for the destruction of one of the oldest buildings on Spring Garden Street. At the time, the new owner of the property insisted to Plan Philly that he didn’t know what he was going to do with the building, suggesting the possibility that the property…
A couple of readers have checked in recently, noting that the historic but blighted Purvis House at 1601 Mount Vernon St. was experiencing some changes of late. We finally made it over to the area yesterday.
Looks the same
Hm not so much
Looking at the L&I Map, the building has three fresh violations as of the beginning of this month, so we’re guessing that either demolition was done without proper permits or the walls simply crumbled of their own accord. What this means for the rumored plans of three new condos with parking at the property, we couldn’t tell you, but we’re hoping that the property owners step in sooner rather than later before the building is lost or a pedestrian is injured by a very poorly secured construction site.
A year ago, we first told you about the likelihood that the Fortieth Street ME Church, located at 125 S. 40th St. would be demolished sometime soon. The church, which was built in 1872 and designed by Sloan & Hutton, housed three different congregations over 135 years. The currently empty building was purchased in 2007 by P&A Associates, the folks who built the Murano, the St. James, and have been doing other development in Philadelphia for many years.
According to a story in today’s Daily Pennsylvanian, it seems this beautiful church will, in fact, be torn down by the end of this year. Replacing it will be a one-story, ultra contemporary structure designed by CANNO Architecture + Design, a firm that designed the Artisan Townhouses on…
Though Rittenhouse Square Park is only a block and a half wide, the street “Rittenhouse Square” runs all the way from 17th Street to 21st Street (and also, strangely, between 22nd and 23rd Streets).
As you can imagine with such a ritzy location, the homes on Rittenhouse Square are some of the most desirable in town. So it comes as a huge surprise that any would be allowed to fall into any disrepair whatsoever. Take 2049 Rittenhouse Sq., a structure that looks like a former storefront, that’s had peeling paint and a generally poorly maintained look in recent years.
The cream colored home, a few years back
The other day, a reader pointed out that work was getting done on the facade of this property. Looking on the handy new L&I map,…