When we shared the news yesterday that the building at 208-12 N. 21st St., formerly home to the Please Touch Museum, would be demolished, many people commented with disappointment that this excellent building will soon be lost. At the time that we wrote the story, we didn't know much about the project except that it would mean the construction of eight new homes - we didn't even know who was developing it.
Today, a reader reached out, sending along a presentation packet for this project. They told us that US Construction is behind the project, and JKRP Architects have done the design work. Check out the renderings:
When we last visited the corner of 21st & Race a little less than a year ago, developers were just getting started on the second quartet of homes making up the Eight on Race development. That project entailed the demolition of a former School District building (which we don't regret) and its replacement with eight new homes, as the name indicates. Today, we see there's been significant progress on the second phase of homes, though we'd have thought they'd be even further along by now.
Looking west on Race Street
Immediately to the north of this project, as you're probably aware, is a wonderful building which was home to the Please Touch Museum for many years before its move to Memorial Hall. Originally a carpet factory, the attractive building at 208-12 N. 21st St. has housed a gallery for the last few years.
It seems that a North Broad Street project that got squashed last summer has come back from the dead. This is for the best, as far as we're concerned.
Looking up North Broad Street
About a year ago, developers came before the Logan Square Neighborhood Association with plans to build an addition at 142 N. Broad St., a rough looking building that sits in between a Parkway Garage (which is also their headquarters) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The project would have entailed a four-story addition to the building and the creation of 116 apartments, along with ground-floor retail. The community didn't oppose the project itself, though they did not support one aspect of the project which would have meant a 3' digital sign at the top of the building, a la East Market Street. In July of last year, the project got denied at the ZBA and the building has remained in the same state ever since.
Getting in the ground for the Museum Towers II project took quite some time, so it's a little jarring to see that construction is moving along so rapidly. It was back in 2012 that we first told you about plans to replace a surface parking lot between 18th & 19th, Buttonwood Street & Mattias Baldwin Park with a residential tower and some homes, but it was two years before the project even went before Civic Design Review. Finally, last summer, we discovered that developers Forest City had started construction, with a pile of fresh dirt announcing that the project was underway.
Passing by last week, we discovered so much progress.
Maybe you love surface parking lots, but if you're a regular reader of this blog you know we aren't into 'em. So we rejoiced a couple years back, when Parkway Corporation, one of the biggest parking lot owners in Philadelphia, partnered with the Hanover Company with plans to redevelop two surface parking lots on opposing corners at Broad & Callowhill. At the time, we predicted that we'd be offering more information in the near future, and we somehow haven't checked in on the property in the time that's passed since then. But better late than never, eh? Currently, both the southeast and southwest corner are in the early stages of construction.