Temple Area

Modern building replacing long vacant lot

If you head west on Cecil B. Moore Avenue past Broad Street, in the past few years, Temple-related development has grown on numerous blocks. We've seen varying types of projects, mostly in the residential realm. As large projects go, Temple opened the 27-story Morgan Hall at Broad & Cecil B. in 2013, at once changing the face of the North Broad skyline. But there have been plenty of smaller buildings coming on the scene as well.

Tons of change blocks north of campus

The months keep falling off the calendar and development around Temple has continued to buzz. Derelict buildings have been demolished and replaced with shiny new (often boring) buildings. Lots that sat vacant for decades have turned over. So much construction has happened here of late, people who graduated even five years ago wouldn't even recognize their former neighborhood.

While all of this makes perfect sense in the abstract, we figured we'd give you a visual example of just how much change has come to a random intersection in the area. There's no particular reason we picked 12th & Dauphin, but it certainly illustrates the point. Check out some images of what the area looked like back in 2009, thanks to the brilliance of the Google Maps Time Machine feature.

But it still may look regrettable

The 1500 block of N. 16th St. enjoys the presence of numerous buildings that are, in our estimation, architectural gems. A few years ago, a new stucco apartment building rose on the block, looking like a tumor next to an amazing old structure. Earlier this year, we told you of plans for yet another addition to the block at 1516 N. 16th St., and hoped that the new building would reduce the impact of the aforementioned stucco tumor.

The new structure
Some good looking buildings on the block

In case you don't recall, this four-story building will eventually have nineteen apartments. As is the case with most new construction in the area, it will surely target Temple students, and make us jealous of their living conditions compared to those of our college days. We still don't know what this building will ultimately look like, but it sure is doing a fine job of blocking the view of the stuccoed building next door.

Is something new coming on North Broad?

Last week, we directed your attention to the northwest corner of Broad & Jefferson, noting that the Burk Mansion, vacant for about twenty years, was getting a little work done. Just to the north of this beautiful building, we spied some demolition activity that seemed like it could mean more development coming to North Broad Street.

In the past
Buildings coming down

As you can see, a former appliance store and book shop on the 1500 block of N. Broad St. have come down. Zavelle, in case you didn't know (we didn't), had a presence at Temple since before World War II. When we came upon this demolition, our first thought was that a private developer had purchased the properties with plans to build some new student housing. But no, it's actually Temple University that owns the properties. According to a Temple News story from last year, the school also owns the other buildings you see in the photos above and will be demolishing them as well, in short order. Originally, the Zavelle building wasn't part of the demolition plan but when Temple was able to acquire the parcel earlier this year for a staggering $950K, they decided to take that building down as well.

Certainly not what we expected

Student housing construction has been all the rage near Temple, with projects large and small changing almost every block in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. So when we heard about a zoning notice at 1412 W. Dauphin St., just a couple blocks north of campus, our minds immediately went to student housing. And upon reading the notice which calls for fifty-four units and eighteen bike parking spots, we had no doubt that another big student housing building was on its way.

But we were wrong! Hey, it happens every now and again.

Current view of 1412 W. Dauphin St.
Looking down Carlisle St.

Doing a little digging, we realized that plans for this site aren't for the kids at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to a Civic Design Review presentation from August, developers want to build an affordable housing building for senior citizens on this site (creatively) called Dauphin Street Senior Residences. Has a nice ring to it, no?

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