The 1500 block of S. Bouvier St. has seen tremendous change in the last few years and there's more on the way. We don't have to look back too far into the past to see a block that was littered with blighted properties and vacant land, but if you visit today you'll see a number of new homes have risen on the block. But despite the new development, there's still a large patch of vacant land on the south side of the block.
Looking south on the 1500 block of Bouvier St.
But that's not sticking around for much longer. Affordable housing developer Innova has poured three foundations at 1524-28 S. Bouvier St., and three new homes are forthcoming. You may recall, they have a large affordable project just a block to the north on the 1400 block. What we're not sure about here is whether these three homes will be offered at an "affordable" price, as Innova does do the occasional market rate project, as we've seen.
If you're looking for a large commercial space on an up-and-coming commercial corridor, 2511 W. Girard Ave. might be the place for you. This building, which sits across the street from Girard College at the corner of W. College Ave. and W. Girard Ave., was occupied for many years by a liquor store, which closed last year when the new one opened on 31st Street north of Girard Avenue. The building offered a nice convenience for the booze-seeking public, as it had a beer distributor right next door. Alas.
Welcome, freshmen, to Temple University ca. summer 2016. As you can see, our growing campus has been turned into one giant construction project, and we're hoping some of it will be finished by the time classed start in a month. Let’s go over what’s in store for you (and what jealous alums never had a chance to experience).
First off, we have the new library. Recall that this building is a Snøhetta design, bringing a touch of Scandinavian class (and automated stacks retrieval) to what some would otherwise consider to be a rather plain campus. The last time we checked in, Barton Hall was a-coming down. Now, instead, there’s a big ole hole in the ground.
Library, coming sorta soon
Right next door to the upcoming library, we have a repaving project on Liacouras Walk. This is part of the Verdant Temple landscape improvements project -- like the section that was put in along Liacouras Walk between Alter Hall and the student health section last summer.
From Independence Hall to the two-story row home at the end of your block, every building in Philadelphia has some history to it. For any building that has any historical significance or looks a little unique, someone has probably done some research on it and published some information that can be found through a perfunctory web search. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case for the one-story stone building at 2800 W. Thompson St.
Building at the corner
Looking at historical maps, there was a church here once upon a time called the Sanctuary Methodist Church. We wonder whether the building that we see today is the original structure that stood here or perhaps more likely, a remnant of a more impressive building that didn't last through the years. A few years ago, when MM Partners built the North 28 project just to the south, this building was sitting vacant. But today the Celestial Tabernacle Holiness Church of God is making a home in the building and the formerly vacant building next door. They were previously located in a building down the street, and nearly lost their property at sheriff's sale for a $900 delinquency a few years ago. But it appears they've sold their old building to developers, as it's now been demolished. Thankfully, they didn't have to move very far.
Little known fact: It's actually illegal to park your car in the median on South Broad Street.
Normal view at Broad & Mifflin, looking south
Yeah, we know, everyone does it, and they've probably been doing it since well before we were born. But that doesn't mean that the practice should continue. First of all, it looks pretty awful. South Broad Street is one of our major arteries and one of our most photographed streets, and block after block of parked cars in the middle of the street isn't what anyone would call picturesque.
Normal view at Broad & Wolf
Also, it's super dangerous. Despite the traffic lights, South Broad Street feels like a highway at certain points. People are constantly swerving from lane to lane, trying to make lights. And they're probably not paying close attention to whether someone is getting into or out of a car in the median. It's actually amazing that more accidents don't occur on South Broad Street, given the median parking situation. And if you've ever tried to (illegally) park in the median, it can feel like you're taking your life in your hands.