The former Spring Garden Public School, located on 12th Street between Ogden and Parrish Streets, is a blighted structure that’s worth renovating. Imagine what a developer could do with the rooftop, already paved for basketball and such (removing the cage of course), and with the kind of skyline views that make developers think of money jingling in their pockets. The biggest challenge in terms of market rate development would probably be that the building is surrounded by hundreds of PHA homes in the Richard Allen development.
An old gem
For now, the school is boarded up, with a front entrance decorated with empty bottles, graffiti and the dreams of vagrants passed. What has become of this building and the overgrown lot next door? We presume it was closed by the school district and left to the deference…
Last year, the The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society organized a pop-up garden at an embarrassing vacant lot at 20th and Market Streets, alongside some of the tallest buildings in town. Well, PHS is doing it again, this time at an even more embarrassing vacant lot, on the 1900 block of Walnut Street, across from Rittenhouse Square.
We briefly covered some of this lot’s history a few months back, but to review: The Rittenhouse Eric Theater, made its home here for about twenty-five years. The building next door, a nearly one-hundred year old historic brownstone that had been converted into an office, caught fire in 1994, damaging the theater to the point that it had to be demolished.
So yes, this has been an empty lot for nearly two decades.