A slice of Philadelphia culture, 23rd Street Cafe hosted jazz jam sessions every Tuesday night for the last twenty-five years. For a great story about the history of this institution, read this Inquirer story from over the summer. If you read the story a few months ago, you still had the chance to check out a jam session at 233 N. 23rd St., an older building pretty much next door to an I-676 offramp.
In the past
This was the view looking north, until recently
If you didn't get there by now, you've missed your chance. The business is closed and the building has been demolished.
If you've visited the Ben Franklin Parkway at any point in the last year or so, you've probably noticed the large construction site at 22nd & Hamilton where a crappy Best Western hotel once stood. The hotel got demolished a little over a year ago, and a large mixed-use project called Rodin Square is rising in its place. We first told you about this plan about three years ago and last visited the site this past spring. In March, the project's parking garage had made considerable progress but most of the work on the site was taking place below grade. Only a handful of steel girders were visible at 22nd & Spring Garden.
As you can imagine, things have changed significantly in a little over half a year.
We were in the market for some cases of beer today, and found ourselves at Franklin Beverage on the 1800 block of Callowhill Street (they take American Express, by the way). Before we made our way inside, we noticed a faded zoning notice next door at 1823 Callowhill St., the former home of the Children's Crisis Treatment Center.
This building will come down. Note the Granary in the background
According to the zoning notice, developers have plans to demolish this building and replace it with a five-story structure with ground-floor commercial and thirty-two apartments above. The project will also include ten parking spots.
Earlier today we passed by 1919 Market St., and quickly realized that it's been too long since we last provided an update on this project. Remember, this parcel was last home to the Penn Center Inn, a building that was demolished in 1990 in anticipation of a twin to the IBX Tower next door. Several other projects came down the pike for this parcel over the years but it remained vacant until PHS opened their first pop-up garden here in 2011.
This made for a pleasant summer for the northeast corner of 20th & Market, but large development was always in store for this site and it was just a question of who would do it and when it would finally happen. That question was answered by Brandywine Realty Trust when they broke ground a little over a year ago. And since our last visit in October of 2014, there's been some impressive progress. Back then, site work was taking place behind a fence and passersby had no idea what was happening on the other side. Today, it's pretty darn clear.
Museum Towers II has been a long time coming. It was way back in January of 2012 that we first told you that the surface parking lot between 18th & 19th, Buttonwood Street & Mattias Baldwin Park would be replaced by an apartment tower and some town homes. At that point, developers Forest City were still in the process of meeting with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association regarding the project. It finally went to Civic Design Review at the beginning of 2014, but the lot remained in use for many months afterward. Passing by over the weekend, we discovered it's now a construction site and probably has been for a couple months.
On 18th Street, looking north
The project will include a sixteen-story apartment building with 270 units and a four level parking garage with 439 parking spaces. That's roughly an additional 150 spaces over the surface lot that's getting replaced. Wrapping around the parking garage, look for sixteen townhomes which we'd imagine will be offered for sale. Eh, rentals could work too. Here, check out the site plan to see how the new buildings will interact with each other and with the existing buildings.