If you're traveling through Grays Ferry, you might come upon a wonderful old building at the corner of 28th & Morris. That's the former Anthony Wayne School, which several years ago was converted into affordable rental units. The building still strikes an imposing figure, with its exterior architectural features thankfully preserved.
Anthony Wayne Apartments in the former school
Once upon a time, the school and its playground and parking lot took up half a city block. What used to be the playground, according to CBS Philly, at the corner of 27th & Morris, has been a vacant concrete lot for many years. And it wasn't exactly adding anything to the neighborhood.
Just south of the South Bank campus is the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, which we've mentioned a handful of times in the past. It's tucked between Grays Ferry Ave., I-76, and the Schuylkill River, and it's pretty easy to miss. Along with a few hundred homes, the neighborhood has a newer baseball field, a large FedEx building, and the entrance to the underutilized Dupont Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail. This neighborhood, which has seen little change in recent years, will soon be experiencing an unprecedented amount of development.
Though we told you about the project about half a year ago, we don't think construction has been going on for much more than a couple of months. Clearly, the developers are looking to put Pathmark out of business as quickly as possible.
It's a shame, really. Hopefully, both markets will be able to coexist successfully. We just aren't sure how.
Perhaps in your travels around town, you've stumbled upon a handsome but weary looking building on the northwest corner of 26th & Wharton. Wharton Hall, as the building was originally called when it was constructed in the late 1800s, has an interesting history and a potentially exciting future.
Wharton Hall in 1959
According to Hidden City, the building was originally used as a meeting hall and an occasional boxing venue, and was converted into a Catholic School in the 1920s. The school moved down the street in the late 1950s, and a photo shop took over the building for the next several decades. It's sat vacant, to our knowledge, for over a decade, and while its facade has deteriorated, the bones still look pretty good. A reader tipped us off recently, though, that the beat-up building is finally getting the love it's been craving for years.