The garages at 1834-48 Frankford Ave., built in the 1920s, are fine enough buildings, and they were most recently home to an auto shop on one side and the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym on the other. Developers bought the property earlier this year and have plans to demolish the building and build a mix of 41 condos and rentals in its place. Now is probably a good time to mention that OCF Realty, owner of this website, is the broker on the project. A couple of weeks ago, we learned that local historian Ken Milano had nominated 1834-48 Frankford Ave. to be added to the Historic Register, but not because he's particularly interested in the hundred year old building.
1834-48 Frankford Ave.
The process to nominate a property to the Philadelphia Historic Register is overwhelming, requiring copious research, historic photographs and maps, detailed analysis, and a bibliography that would make your high school english teacher proud. It falls upon the nominator to make the case that a potentially historic property fulfills one or more of the ten criteria for historic designation. We've seen many properties go before the Commission, and in our experience, most of the properties nominated to the register have been added.
This is generally a good thing, as nominators tend to offer up properties that should be maintained and preserved. Philadelphia has a ton of architectural history, and we've unfortunately seen too many wonderful buildings face the wrecking ball in recent years. We confess though, the situation around the nomination of 1834-48 Frankford Ave. is something we've never seen before.
In the spirit of the recently finished National Spelling Bee, we found ourselves struggling to spell the word 'sauerkraut' on this fine morning. Unlike those kids though, we have the crutch of spellcheck, so we didn't even need to ask someone to use it in a sentence. But we digress.
AC Kissling made tons and tons of sauerkraut at 161 E. Allen St. over the decades, with the family business finally selling out to a larger company at some point in the last few years. In 2013, their space on Allen Street went on the market, with the half-acre site listed for sale for $1.5M. At the time, we predicted that a developer would tear down the building and build homes in its place. A little over a year ago, we aggressively patted ourselves on the back when we learned that developers had presented plans to the community for eighteen new homes at this location. That plan now has the necessary approvals, and the old kraut palace is getting torn down.
We've had a couple of readers reach out to us in the last few weeks, wondering about construction at 2318 E. York St., a corner lot that functioned for many years as a side yard for lovely old brownstone.
In the past
Current view of the property
Developers bought the property about a year and a half ago, paying $650K for the large parcel. Then they subdivided the lot, chipping off the aforementioned brownstone to create a new corner property that's a little over 3,000 sqft in size. With multi-family zoning, there are numerous options for the parcel. The developers can build four homes pretty easily, or they could opt for apartment buildings instead. We saw a plan about a year ago with two buildings with nine units that look like condos, but we're not sure exactly what the final plan will entail. Does anyone in the neighborhood have some insight?
The building that last housed the Grace of God Church of Deliverance at 2121 E. Cumberland St. is no more. In fact, it was demolished several months ago, we just didn't get over there to snap a photo since the demolition took place until the other day. The building was quite sizable and its absence is very apparent.
The view in the past
When we last visited this corner about half a year ago, we shared news of the Parish House project from Red Oak Builders, the back of which you can see in the photo above. That very cool project, in case you don't remember, will mean the renovation of the church's former parish house into five townhomes. Also as part of that project, the developers have renovated a building next door to the old parish house on Firth Street and they're building a new single-family home on Cumberland.
The same reader that gave us the heads up about the upcoming Fishtown Residence project on the 2300 block of E. York Street was also wondering about a seemingly stalled construction project across the street. 2365-67 E. York St. is a double-wide garage that looks like it housed an auto shop at some point and maybe a car wash more recently (thanks, sign). According to a Philadelinquency story, the building also contains a rear apartment that was at one time rented to an individual that engaged in some objectionable activities. Currently, both garage door openings are covered in plywood.