Around this time last year, we reported on the upcoming demolition and development plans for a property at 1823 Callowhill St., across the street from the Granary Apartments. The plan at the time was to demolish a previously City-owned building which once housed the Children's Crisis Treatment Center. Originally built as an orphanage in 1949, the building was designed by Elizabeth Fleisher, the same architect who helped design the Parkway House in 1953, and the first known woman architect in the City. Despite being somewhat historic in this respect, the building sat on a parcel that was zoned for a much denser use, and probably would not have lent itself to straightforward reuse. When we visited recently, we found the building completely demolished with nothing but a pile of rubble in its place.
Orens Brothers is planning to replace the building with a 5 story mixed use building with retail space on the bottom and 32 apartments above. Last year, we told you of plans to use the retail space as a restaurant and/or microbrewery, and since we haven't heard of any changes to the plan, we'll assume this is still happening. We were able to scrounge up renderings from a local architecture firm who looks to be doing the design work, Wulff Architects.
From the look of the back of the building, it looks like there will be some parking component, though we have have no idea how many spaces that will be. According to the architects, the bottom floor will be typical construction while the upper 4 floors will be modular. We've seen a good number of modulars go up in the past but they've usually been in neighborhoods that were a bit farther from Center City, such as Brewerytown and West Philly. By the look of the renderings, we're a little concerned that this building may stick out like a sore thumb due to the materials the developers are planning on using, but there's no way to judge it until it's built.