Church Renovation Progressing in Brewerytown

In Brewerytown, the 2700 and 2800 blocks of Girard Avenue are alight with signs of redevelopment. Now, renovations to transform the former St. Augustine's Church of the Covenant, first constructed in 1888, into residential units are leading the way for potential widespread redevelopment of the Girard Avenue commercial corridor that has seen consistent, albeit slow, improvement in recent years.

Part of the structure that runs up 27th Street has already been improved and the formerly faded brick and boarded windows have been replaced. Developer Jordan Brody is overseeing the project, and the vision was designed by Ian Smith Design Group.

Looking up 27th Street

On Girard Avenue

This project will serve as one of two projects poised to entirely transform the intersection at 27th & Girard and almost this entire section of the neighborhood, which suffered from still visible decades of disinvestment until fairly recently. The other is across the street on the southeast corner where there are early plans to develop the huge vacant lot into a mixed-use multi-unit structure.

Vacant lot across the street could be redeveloped

As one continues north up 27th Street, a vacant lot is followed by a string of bruised and vacant homes. We wonder if those homes might soon be the next project in this area. We first wrote about the church when it was for sale back in June 2012. It's great to see this building was in good enough shape at a right enough price for a developer to take a leap of faith by renovating it and getting in while the going is still good in Brewerytown.

  • this is..


  • Wharf Rat


    • PhillyEdu

      Just wait until the new zoning code, it gives neighborhood groups limited powers… and I can wait!

      • Fred

         They have the same powers they have now.  Neighborhood groups only have as much power as the ZBA gives them by following their recommendations.

    • PhillyEdu


  • JoEv

    Such a shame that the previous proposal was rejected so callously.  I know the architects behind it, and there was a lot of thought put into that design.

    A member of the historic preservation community told the principal at Interface Studio Architects that he’ll be lucky if he ever gets another chance to design for a historic site in Philly ever again (because of his design for the granary).

    How can Philly grow and prosper if it’s curmudgeonly and stale old residents/civic groups keep driving away bright, young talent?

    • Steve S.

       When it comes to designing for historic sites however it seems that the most progressive design architects in this city are cursed. Witness Erdy-McHenry’s lackluster plan for the PA Ballet, for example. ISA is not the only architecture studio to come out for the worse.

      –Note this isn’t to say I don’t like E-M or ISA’s work in general. I’d buy a house like the $100k House in a heartbeat.

  • Brian O’Keefe

    The proposal looked as if they just dropped a new building on top of the Granary, I don’t get it? They engaged the penthouse into the design, but the rest of the existing building looked like a massive pedestal.

  • Windowless units?  Maybe there is a convent of cloistered nuns that would want it.

  • Time for Change

    Agree with JoEv – The ISA design was amazing! Unfortunately Nimbism + Historic Commission + preservation community = boring in Philadelphia. It’s ironic that any building or style that the Historic Commission is supposedly trying to protect would never have even be built if the designers had to go through the current process. Design by committe never results in anything good. EVER!

  • thesestreets

    ug. more than one parking spot per unit? insane.