At 7th & Bainbridge, Mansions Under Construction and Demolition Upcoming

Philadelphia is home to some of the most amazing architecture in America, with a rich stock of fabulous buildings scattered across the city. While we've got more than our share of great structures, we've also got some duds. Case in point, the one-story stucco building at the southeast corner of 7th & Bainbridge. Former sushi place with demo notice This building has housed several different businesses over the years, and we specifically remember a thrift [...]
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Civic Design Review Should Get the Axe, Or At Least the Scalpel

If you want to develop a large project in Philadelphia, the zoning code compels you to go through the Civic Design Review process. Your architect has to assemble a packet that can run dozens of pages in length, with floor plans, renderings, elevations drawings, stormwater management plans, a complete streets guide, and landscaping designs, among other things. Packet in hand, you must present your project to the CDR board, and the board will offer feedback, possibly [...]
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Penn Building Yet Another New College House

The University of Pennsylvania wants to increase its dormitory offerings, and a green space at the edge of campus will fall victim to this aspiration. The southeast corner of 40th & Walnut is home to a branch of the Free Library, and a field wraps around the building with frontage on Walnut and Locust Streets. This field definitely gets some use, at least according to some commenters on a Daily Pennsylvanian story, but it seems that [...]
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Techadelphia Looks Like It’s Getting Started on American Street

We went to Art For the Cash Poor at Crane Arts in South Kensington a few months ago, and as has been the case in the past, we were able to snag some pretty great artwork for some very reasonable prices. Living on the other side of town as we do (and not remembering that inexpensive booze would be available), we drove to the art show, parking on the street a block to the north. We parked [...]
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Union Transfer Getting a New Neighbor?

The commercial corridor on Spring Garden Street, east of Broad, has made some major strides over the last several years, as the neighborhoods to the north and south have improved. The biggest changes have been Union Transfer, the music venue that took over the Spaghetti Warehouse space on the 1000 block a few years back, and 990 Spring Garden, the government building turned office loft space which is also home to Roy Pitz Barrel House. There's [...]
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Arrow Shaped Property Available Near Passyunk Avenue

We got an email the other day from CBRE, advertising a property for sale or lease near Passyunk Avenue. This property, 1324 Mifflin St., has a very unusual shape, but you wouldn't necessarily never expect this by looking at it from the street. View on Mifflin Street Looking into the property Look at this thing So yeah, that's... different. There's a three story building on Mifflin Street, but most of the first floor is a driveway [...]
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Long Vacant Mantua Property Should Get Redeveloped Soon

There's a triangular parcel that's bordered by Mantua Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, and 34th Street that's been sitting vacant for as long as we can remember. Google Street View confirms it's been vacant for at least a decade. We know that at one point there were roughly a dozen homes and apartments buildings on this property, which we'll call 3300 Mantua Ave., but years of disinvestment in the neighborhood likely resulted in the buildings falling into disrepair. [...]
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Stamm Development Doing a Number on 20th Street in Francisville

We first visited the 700 block of N. 20th St. back in 2012, noting that developers were planning to demolish a home and replace it with a new quadplex. This block, and several others in the neighborhood, were built up by PHA in the 1980s with small homes that were sold off as affordable housing. Those homes were unlike traditional Philadelphia row homes in that they were quite squat, they sat on large parcels, and they [...]
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Rival Bros. Number Three Opens On Passyunk Avenue

People like to say that a little coffee shop can be a good indication that a neighborhood has achieved "up and coming" status. If that's the case, then what does it mean when a neighborhood or a corridor has a bunch of little coffee shops, one after the other? Such is the case on Passyunk Avenue, where Essen leads to B2 which leads to Black 'n Brew, and then after a small gap, Capogiro leads to Plenty Cafe which [...]
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Astounding Changes on the 1400 Block of S. Colorado

A reader tip directed us to the 1400 block of S. Colorado St. in Point Breeze, and we're embarrassed to say we believe it was the first time we ever set foot on the block. The reader noticed some zoning notices toward the southern end of the street, and because it's what we do, we figured we'd check 'em out. Zoning notices Developers with a Mesa, Arizona address purchased 1441-45 S. Colorado St. earlier this [...]
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