Queen Village

Event coming up

Right now, the strip of landscaping that runs along Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th Streets is just that, a strip of landscaping that some might call a park. It's already a nice brief glimpse of green in a city neighborhood, but the Friends of Bainbridge Green have bigger plans.

Buildings look much better

We were grabbing some farm fresh produce at Headhouse today and passed by a couple of buildings we first wrote about back in April. At that time, they were under heavy construction, with eight apartments and two fresh commercial spaces in the works.

Several months ago

When we passed 610-12 S. 4th St. today, it looked like the construction was all done. A new bay appeared on the norther building, and new tenants were occupying both retail spaces. S&N Nail & Spa has taken over one space, while a relocated UPS Store is in the other. Remember, the UPS Store was previously on the 200 block of South Street, but their space will eventually be taken over by New York based Garden of Eden.

Over the weekend

Great to see these buildings finished and occupied!

But those bays!

Last year, a fire ravaged Jack B. Fabrics at 748 S. 4th St. on Fabric Row. When we last visited the property in April, a new building was being framed out, replacing the demolished structure. When we passed by the other day, the exterior looked nearly complete.

Before the fire
Current view

Once it's finished, the new building will have four apartments and a commercial space downstairs. In many ways, especially with the bays moving down Fitzwater Street, it seeks to imitate the building it replaces. But we have to wonder, was the architect dreaming of the shore when they designed the color scheme/material combo for those bays?

What do you think? Do you like the new building?

Building goes back hundreds of years

A couple years ago, we told you about the Spafford House at Front & Bainbridge in Queen Village, noting that it was vacant and available for sale. The building was constructed in 1762 according to QVNA, and was originally home to William Spafford, who made his living as a sea captain and slave trader. Shortly after Spafford's death in 1768, the home was auctioned off by the sheriff. And in a neat case of historical symmetry, the property went to sheriff's sale again in 1992 and once more in 2011. Most recently, it was home to Tori's Brickhouse, a restaurant that cleared out back in 2006.

Current view

In 2012, the building was on the market for $425K though it sold for a more reasonable $300K earlier this summer. A year ago, the previous owners took the property to the ZBA and got approvals to convert it from a restaurant use back to a single family home. This came after what we believe was an aborted effort two years ago to demolish the rear garages and build a new four story structure.

Now it's condos

And now for another edition in our long and continuing series about places Philadelphians have been buried.  There are so many of course, but what makes this one interesting is that you could be living on top of it.  The south side of Christian Street between 5th and 6th Streets is completely residential today, a fact which conceals its historical fluctuation.  For our purposes, the story begins in roughly 1831 when, according to Philly.com, one Francis Brown gifted the land to the Mt. Zion Christian Church for use as a burial ground.  G.M. Hopkins’ Philadelphia Atlas shows the Grave Yard circa 1875.

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