Point Breeze

Two are part of the same project, but still

A couple of readers have urged us to revisit the booming 2200 block of Wilder Street in recent weeks, but that pesky early setting sun foiled us a couple times before we could get some decent images of what's happening. You may recall, we first visited this block back in January, when we learned of plans for four new homes on the north side of the block and three more homes on the south side, but the project was no slam dunk as it had not yet gone to the ZBA. By the end of the summer, we heard that a couple homes were getting demoed in preparation for the the aforementioned project and we learned that the ZBA had indeed given their blessing. Today, as we approach the end of the year, we can report that the project seems to be moving forward full speed ahead, with footings on the south side and an excavator doing its thing on the north side.

Will be one of the more unique residences in the neighborhood

To the surprise of few and the chagrin of many, we now find ourselves in an era of wholesale church demolition. And we've lost some fabulous buildings in just the last few years, like the Pilgrim Congressional United Church of Christ in Fishtown, Saint Bonaventure in Fairhill, and New Hope Temple Baptist Church in Hawthorne. But all churches are not created equal, at least architecturally. Other structures have come down over time that, while their loss may sting their respective congregations, the building wasn't necessarily worth saving. We'd argue that a fine example of this would be the Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Graduate Hospital, which was replaced by three homes.

Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, now demolished

That being said, even when a church doesn't fill your heart with architectural wonder, it's still a welcome sight to see it reused instead of torn down and replaced with something new and less interesting. And that's exactly what's happening at 1413 S. 20th St., long home to the Great Prophecy Spiritual Church. Developers bought the building about a year ago and are now in the process of converting it into a single family home.

Still better than the original plan

We've had an eye on the southwest corner of Broad & Ellsworth for years, wondering when and if this large vacant South Broad Street property would get filled in. You may remember, the adjacent Saint Rita of Cascia Shrine owns the property and has been looking to expand there for quite some time, but it's been a struggle to come up with a plan that makes sense. In 2014 they announced a plan for a one-story building with a big surface parking lot in the back and we were incredibly disappointed about such an underuse for such a prominent corner.

Two story building sticking around between them

It's been about a year since we checked in on the northwest corner of 17th & Annin, so how 'bout an update? A year ago, this corner was home to a white warehouse that was growing more and more out of place as residential development proliferated throughout the neighborhood. It came as no shock to us to learn that a developer had purchased the building and was proceeding with a plan to demolish the building and replace it with five townhomes. Today, we see that the old warehouse is gone and foundations are in place for the five homes.

In the past at 17th & Annin

Current view

We confess that we haven't seen much work at the site of late, but before long we're confident that the project will proceed. Soon enough, we'll see five new homes with parking that we'd think will each sell for over $500K. Here's another look at the rendering from GJDesign.

Project rendering

Just half a block to the south, perhaps you've noticed that another building is under construction.

Van is a used up man

This is a little embarrassing. You may remember that just yesterday, we told you about a few new homes under construction on the 1400 block of S. Ringgold St. in Point Breeze. A reader was kind enough to point out that there's some additional construction taking place less than half a block away, on the 1400 block of S. Taylor Street. As impressed as we were about the construction on Ringgold Street, we're even more surprised by the construction on Taylor, as it's a third of a block away from the 25th Street CSX viaduct. Also, Taylor Street is in much worse shape than Ringgold. Still, three homes are under construction.

Looking north on Taylor Street

Q4 Real Estate bought the vacant lot at 1446 S. Taylor St. earlier this year, paying a mere $25K for the property. RF Washington I is responsible for the two homes to the north, and looking at their address it appears they're the same folks building the homes on Ringgold Street. Unlike those homes though, these have much more standard squared off bays.