Temple Area

Nobody is too sad to see the Triangle Apartments go away

For many years, the southwest corner of Broad & Norris has been surrounded by a red plywood fence, hiding the Temple Community Garden from street view. Immediately to the west on Norris Street and to the south on Broad Street were a bunch of old homes long ago chopped up into apartments. Those buildings were collectively known as the Triangle Apartment Complex and they were used in recent years as grad student housing. Let's just say they didn't have a stellar reputation.

In the past

Last year, the garden moved to a more visible location at Carlisle & Diamond. And in March, demolition got underway on the buildings nearby. Passing by today, you can see that the buildings are all gone but there's still heavy equipment on the site.

Surely these units will be filled with students

Student housing has been all the rage in the neighborhoods surrounding Temple in recent years, and it's almost a surprise that there are any vacant lots or blighted buildings remaining in the area. But alas, a considerable number of empty buildings remain and there's still plenty of lots too. Until very recently, the northwest corner of 17th & Norris had a building right at the corner, an overgrown field to the north, and a small forest to the west.

In the past

Visit this corner today and you'll see a very different scene. Just to the north, four duplexes are approaching completion, sporting some of the brightest bay windows you'll ever see. The leasing company, Walnut Realty Group, is calling this development Tuscany Suites (a hundred bucks if you can convince us they evoke Tuscany in any way), and they're marketing the 4 bed/4bath units for $600/room. Each unit comes with a 40" Smart TV in every living room, turfed backyards with grills, and probably a significant security deposit requirement.

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.