Building on Berks Achieves Peak Metal Panel Status

When a contractor builds a new (low rise) structure, they first frame out the building in wood, then they sheath the building in plywood or zip board (the green sheathing you see around town), and finally they clad the building with the stuff you see on the outside when it's done. Probably the common choice for facade cladding in Philadelphia is brick, with accent materials thrown in for architectural interest, and/or because they're cheaper than brick. [...]
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Lily on Christian Will Fill New Gap Next to Old Banca Calabrese

It's been a bit of a roller coaster year for the properties on the southeast corner of 7th & Christian, but the thrills are now over and the ride looks like it'll be fairly boring from here on out. In the spring, we drew your attention to this location, pointing out that the building at the corner was built in the early 1900s as the home of Banca Calabrese. The bank folded during the Great Depression, but [...]
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Delorean Time Machine: 1423 Manning Street

Tucked away on a small street in Center City, a small portion of 1850s Philadelphia survives, reminding us of the forgotten era of a city before cars. This little building on the 1400 block of Manning has been forgotten by pretty much everyone, except us! View of the building Looking up at Academy House John Ellis was an immigrant who came to Philadelphia on June 17th, 1833 from his birthplace of Donemana in County Tyrone, [...]
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Kingsessing Church Changes Hands, Demolition Seems Likely

It was roughly half a decade ago that we directed your attention to the Word Tabernacle Baptist Church, a congregation that was worshiping out of a gorgeous building at 52nd & Chester, in Kingsessing. In the story, we expressed some degree of surprise that the congregation was able to use the building at all, considering the apparent roof damage and the missing/boarded up windows. Despite the active use of the building, we suspected that it would only be [...]
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The Fletcher Twins, Not an Obnoxious Pair of Kids From Your Elementary School

For all of the development that Fishtown has seen over the last decade or so, you'd think there wouldn't be any vacant land left to redevelop. But that's not actually the case, and the neighborhood still has plenty of room to grow. Perhaps counterintuitively, the street with the biggest development potential is probably Frankford Avenue, despite that fact that the corridor is already in pretty good shape already. But if you walk up and down Frankford, [...]
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Thanks to GoPuff, Former Finnigan’s Wake is Going Poof

GoPuff is a true Philadelphia success story. For those unfamiliar, this company is essentially an online convenience store, delivering the stuff that you'd typically get from your local Wawa or 7-11 for a mere $1.95 charge. When it started, the company's approach targeting a the niche market of hookah delivery, hence the name. But they quickly pivoted to the broader online convenience store model, and they've since expanded to dozens of cities and raised over $8M [...]
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Food Truck Garage on the Outs on Christian Street

The Graduate Hospital neighborhood has many qualities that make it an attractive place to live, with the most obvious being that it's the neighborhood right next to the Rittenhouse neighborhood. That proximity gets residents easy access to Rittenhouse Square and downtown shopping and restaurants, but without the associated bustle and congestion. We've argued previously that Graduate is largely a bedroom community, and that it would greatly benefit from additional neighborhood retail. Prevailing zoning and a growing tide of NIMBYism [...]
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Demolition at 3rd & Poplar, Significant Project Should Happen Next

We were in Northern Liberties the other day, and noticed some fairly significant demolition activity on the southwest corner of 3rd & Poplar. There had been a couple of old warehouses/garages on this corner, with a collection of pet-friendly businesses occupying said buildings. Pet store Doggie Style, a veterinarian, and the Saved Me adoption services were all here, along with a large dog run in the rear- obviously that's no longer the case. In the past Current view Earlier this year, [...]
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Wide Home On the Way for Narrow Street in Bella Vista

Last year, we directed your attention to the 800 block of Percy Street, an incredibly skinny block in Bella Vista with some hidden but significant storm water management infrastructure. We noted that most of the lots on the block only go back about 30 feet, making for shallow homes with tiny rear yards. This was a fairly common condition in South Philly a hundred years ago, but as far as modern development standards are concerned, those are some [...]
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New Apartment Building Will Cover Mural at 47th & Chestnut

Real estate development has obviously changed dramatically over the last hundred years, though some aspects of the experience remain the same as they ever were. Today, if a developer gets their hands on a sizable parcel, it's common practice to build a bunch of new homes that look exactly the same or at least strongly resemble each other. This was also true in the past, as you can see on various blocks all over the city. While [...]
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