When the factories in the River Wards made Philadelphia the Workshop of the World, Trenton Avenue had a train track running down the middle of the street to better allow for the inflow of raw goods and the outflow of completed products. Most of those factories have now gone dark, and Trenton Avenue has undergone a major transition. Many old warehouse buildings have disappeared, replaced by high end homes. But some remnants of the corridor’s industrial past remain, with the still active Jacquin’s as the most prominent example. There’s another former industrial building at 2141 E. Hagert St., which looks like it hasn’t been in active use for some time.
We actually wondered about this property a few years back, hopeful that the flow of development nearby might inspire the owners of the property to either renovate the building or sell it off. Looking at public record, it appears that the latter came true, as new owners paid $200K for the property over the summer. When we passed by the other day, we spied a dumpster out front, with some laborers doing a little interior demolition.
We figured we’d see that the new owners pulled some permits to give us a sense of what’s to come, but we don’t see anything at this time. The building has roughly 2,500 sqft of space inside, so three residential units, with one per floor, would seem like the most intuitive use for the property. But we confess, we have no idea what’s gonna happen. The building isn’t listed on the Historic Register, so the owners could look to tear it down, but we’d think that adaptive reuse, for a change, would be more economical than new construction due to the small size of the property. And that’s a great thing, because the building has some excellent bones.
Here’s to hoping that this building will get cleaned up and returned to active use in the near future. And just like we wished for a building currently under construction on West Passyunk, we hope that any renovation here doesn’t involve a paint job for the building. We’d like to see the ghost signs stick around.