1700 Block of Master Getting a Row of New Triplexes

Visit the intersection of 17th & Master sometime, and you'll see a swath of vacant land on the southwest corner that's just 36 feet shy of the length of a football field. This expanse of open space contains 12 different properties, and experience would suggest that some or all of these lots are owned by either the Philadelphia Housing Authority or one of a few City agencies. So you can imagine our surprise when we [...]
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Two Relatively New Homes Demoed on Ridge Avenue

About a year and a half ago, we drew your gaze to the 1700 block of Cambridge Street. On this block, and also on the 1700 block of Ridge, developers built about two dozen twin homes about twenty years ago, at a time that virtually no other construction was happening in Francisville. Things are quite different today, as Francisville has been one of the hottest neighborhoods in town over the last decade, with development cropping up just [...]
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Deterioration For Historic Church at 21st & Cecil B Moore

The southeast corner of 21st & Cecil B. Moore Ave. has been home to a church since almost 50 years before Cecil B. Moore himself was even born. In 1870, the McDowell Presbyterian Sunday School Association built a chapel on the southern end of the property, with frontage on Nicholas Street. Six years later, as the country was celebrating its Centennial, the chapel was expanded to the east. In 1893, a much larger building was constructed [...]
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Warehouse at 12th & Wharton Leveling Up?

We've long admired the two-story building at 1201 Wharton St., having written a story about it way back in 2011. The building is nothing spectacular, though it does stand out from its largely residential surroundings for a few reasons. First, it's four times the size of most of the other lots nearby, due to its double-width and the fact that it runs all the way to Titan Street. There's also something a little monolithic about [...]
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Gold Star Park is Getting a Facelift

Gold Star Park is a wonderful neighborhood pocket park, one of many dotting South Philly. In case you've never heard of it, you can find it on the north side of the 600 block of Wharton St. between Sheridan and Marshall Streets. Historically, this 25K sqft parcel was occupied by the John Hay School, which was only open for a relatively short time, from 1906 through 1939. It surely would have been around for many more decades, but [...]
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Former Victorian Homes Turning to Guest Houses at Penn

The 3800 and 3900 blocks of Walnut, Locust, and Spruce were once typical West Philly streets, albeit with a strong bend toward Penn-related uses, including frat houses, small apartment buildings, and small businesses catering to the student population. Penn controversially purchased the four square blocks in the late 1960s and quickly demolished almost every building standing, constructing three high rise dorms and establishing its western campus border. Only a handful of buildings escaped the wrecking [...]
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Recently Completed Building on Vine Street Has a Cool Neighbor

A reader reached out to us recently, wondering about 1231 Vine St., a property with terrific views of I-676. The question stemmed from the fact that construction started here back in 2017 and only wrapped up at some point in the last few months. That's a pretty reasonable construction schedule for a $50M apartment building with a few hundred units, but doesn't really square with a property that's only 18 feet wide. Looking at the building [...]
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Ho Hum, Another Apartment Building Appears on Front Street

As North Front Street has evolved over the last half decade or so, different blocks have experienced the changes to a different extent. On the 1500 block, for example, the entire west side has gone from an industrial building to the mixed-use Oxford Mills, while the east side has seen an old church converted into office space and the creation of the entrance to the back garden at Suraya. The 1900 and 2000 blocks have both [...]
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You Might Be Assimilated By the Frankford Collective

The blocks of Frankford Avenue between Girard and Delaware Ave. have often played the role of red headed stepchild to the stretch on the other side of Girard, probably because I-95 runs right through the middle of this quarter mile stretch. Nevertheless, it has seen its share of development over the last ten years or so, with the highlight being the renovation of the former Ajax Metals facility into the complex that houses the Fillmore, among [...]
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Two Cinderblock Towers Stand Guard on Ingersoll Street

Despite the fact that it sits just a block and a half from Girard Avenue, the 1700 block of Ingersoll Street was a very desolate place just a half a dozen years ago. Back then, the block was completely vacant, with the exception of three buildings. And we don't believe any of the buildings were occupied, at least given what they looked like in Google Street View. In 2014 Things have changed on this block, [...]
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