The 1700 block of Addison Street is one of the lovelier stretches you'll find in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. Almost without exception, the block features three-story Greek Revival rowhomes that date back to the years before the Civil War. We're not usually such big believers that architectural repetition equals beauty but here it just seems to work. Also, there's something wonderful about the year-round Christmas lights wrapped around the block's trees. Last year, Philly Mag included this block on their list of the 25 Most Beautiful Philly Streets.
The attractive homes of Addison Street
418 S. 17th St., the easternmost home on this block, isn't like the others- not even a little bit. We would guess that a three story home once stood here, but looking back at an image from 1963, we can see that it's been gone for at least the last fifty years.
Partial view in 1963
The current building includes the one-story structure you see in the image above, along with a rear addition and a small second floor addition.
We last visited the intersection of 15th & Walnut about half a year ago (from a writing perspective that is - we've probably walked or driven or biked past this intersection dozens of times in the last six months), when renovation work was getting underway at 1501 Walnut St. and construction was still ongoing on the southeast corner. In the time that's passed, as you might expect, there's been some progress.
AT&T store is coming soon on the northwest corner
Remember, PREIT purchased the building on the northwest corner last year and gutted the first two floors. This building had long been home to a collection of small businesses, like a corner store, a tailor shop, and a shoe repair place. With the new ownership, all of those businesses are out and you can see in the image above, an AT&T store is coming soon. The building looks much better, though we're never particularly excited by a new cell phone store.
When we last last visited the Boyd Theater on the 1900 block of Chestnut Street about six months ago, we told you that plans for a boutique movie theater had fallen through and that Pearl Properties had purchased the old movie palace. At the time, we were pleased to learn that this would mean the preservation of the Boyd's grand lobby, and we speculated that the purchase would mean big changes for Pearl's proposed mixed-use project at the corner of 19th & Chestnut, plans we first covered about a year and a half ago. And wouldn't you know it, we were dead on.
But before we get to the project, let's look at the current situation on Chestnut and Sansom Streets, where demolition activity began several months ago.
The vacant lot on the 1900 block of Walnut Street, across from Rittenhouse Square, has embarrassing the neighborhood for over twenty years. Over the years, a variety of possible projects have come down the pike for this property, including a large parking lot and movie theater project from the PPA.
Current view on Walnut Street
Sansom Street view
Historic buildings on Sansom Street
Some of those plans have been close to becoming a reality, but we're pretty sure none have come as close as the current proposal from Southern Land Company. We told you about this project at the beginning of the year when the details of the project were still up in the air. Back then, we showed you an image of the massing of three buildings with a small building on Walnut Street and two huge buildings on Sansom Street. Now, thanks to Skyscraperpage, we see that a totally different plan is now in the works. The developers are cooking up a plan for a 51 floor, 600' building that would include a mix of rental apartments, condos, and retail. Solomon Cordwell Buenz did the design work.