In the Fall, we told you about a proposed development at 2304-2310 N Broad St., the home of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1968 until 1982. At the time, the buildings were in a terrible state of disrepair, and demolition was just getting underway.
In bad shape
Despite the horrible condition of the buildings, you could tell that they were once quite beautiful, part of a thread of gorgeous residential architecture on this part of North Broad Street.
Brownstones across the street
Also across the street. Wow.
Regrettably, many older buildings on Broad Street have been lost over the years and others have been modified beyond recognition. In addition, Temple, in building out its campus over the past few decades, has replaced some classic architectural specimens with regrettable postmodern buildings that resemble public housing. Not Temple’s fault really, just a a function of the time during which much of this construction took place.
It’s true, the new buildings on this site do not bring PHA to mind, but considering the new and green Norris Apartments nearby, we kind of wish they did. Check out the new buildings on this site, still under construction.
That's what we've got
It’s true that these buildings are unimpressive, but they’re not offensive to the point that we would feel compelling to bring them to your attention in a vacuum. The problem that we have with the buildings is that they are a) replacing once beautiful buildings that had impressive and irreplaceable architectural details and b) on a stretch where there are many other gorgeous buildings. We’re not suggesting that the developers should have saved the buildings that were here before, nor would we suggest that they try to replicate the demoed buildings. But couldn’t they have, at the very least, tried a little harder with their designs, considering the context of Broad Street?