Residential Development Surprisingly Approved on Latona Street

The 700 block of Latona Street isn't one of the more traversed blocks in the city, so you can be forgiven if you've never found yourself there. Having lived around the corner roughly a decade ago, we've been on this block plenty, and it's 80% a standard South Philly block, with a mix of two-story and three story homes. 700 block of Latona You wouldn't describe the other 20% of the block as standard in South [...]
Read More »

Foundation Replaces Blight on 7th Street, North of Girard

Going back at least a decade, the building at 1227 N. 7th St. was sitting vacant and blighted. Until a few years ago, this was par for the course on this block and many other nearby blocks in South Kensington, thanks to years of disinvestment. But as we've said time and time again, things are very different these days in this neighborhood, and as projects have appeared nearby and even on this very block, the blighted [...]
Read More »

Independence Press Building is Coming Back to Life

With the Philadelphia real estate market on a hot streak that's been going for years, we've seen numerous white elephant buildings finally land in developers' crosshairs. Examples include the former Spring Garden School in West Poplar, converted into an affordable housing building, and the long vacant Poth Brewery, now getting converted into market rate apartments and a bunch of commercial space. The Independence Press building at 11th & Green is another fine example of a building that's [...]
Read More »

New Homes Replacing Blight on the 1100 Block of Carpenter Street?

With apologies to the people that live there, Carpenter Street between 11th and 12th Streets is a fairly unremarkable Hawthorne block. Almost every home on the block goes up three stories, with a mix of original facades and "newer" facades that still date back a few decades. One property, 1116 Carpenter St., has struck a bit of an odd note on the block for many years. See if you can figure out why. Looking west on the [...]
Read More »

Residential Tower Would Fill Longtime Gap on Chestnut Street

As the name suggests, Parkway Corporation is in the parking business. They don't own all the parking lots in Center City, but they own or operate at least a couple dozen lots or garages around town, so if you've got a car then you've probably given them some of your money somewhere along the line. But Parkway isn't just in the parking business, they're also in the development business. We can think of several examples [...]
Read More »

Three Homes May Look Odd on the 2100 Block of Annin

Way back in 2011, we wrote about the 2100 blocks of Federal, Annin, Ellsworth, and Alter Streets, trying to understand why the homes on these blocks don't look anything like other homes in the neighborhood. Most homes in Point Breeze are of the row home variety, and these homes certainly don't qualify as row homes. The homes are twins, with each going up two stories, with brick on the first floor and vinyl on the upper floor, and a gabled roof. Each home [...]
Read More »

A New Hole in the Ground at 13th & Kater

You don't have to have an amazing memory to remember when the stretch of 13th Street just below South was an embarrassing mix of blight and vacancy. The building on the southwest corner of 13th & South had amazing bones, but looked like garbage, with a boarded up first floor space. The southeast corner was a big empty lot for a long time. The northeast and northwest corners of 13th & Kater were home to [...]
Read More »

Delorean Time Machine: The Garfield Duncan Building

Barely noticed or remembered today, the creation of the Garfield Duncan Building at Pennsylvania Hospital caused quite the controversy in its time. Now, 40 years since the project started, let’s recall what all the hub-bub was about. In the early 1970s, Pennsylvania Hospital acquired a group of massive 1830s homes on the 700 block of Spruce Street from the Redevelopment Authority. Somewhat ironically, the same hospital sold the land the homes occupied to their builders 150 [...]
Read More »

Eight Homes Under Construction on the Edge of Fishtown

The past few years have brought significant changes to the small square block bounded by York Street, Gaul Street, Belgrade Street, and Gordon Street. Just a handful of years ago, this block included two homes, a meat distributor, and a plumbing business and felt like a snapshot of Fishtown's traditional blend of residential and industrial uses. But as we've documented, industrial uses have been on the outs in Fishtown as the recent real estate boom has overtaken [...]
Read More »

Martabak OK Appears at 18th & Washington

A couple of readers (and also some coworkers) have noticed that a new business recently opened just above the NW corner of 18th & Washington. This business is in a small shopping center that probably made sense when it was built a few decades ago. Currently, as the western side of Washington Avenue undergoes some changes, the building feels a bit out of place. Those changes are going to continue and even accelerate on the [...]
Read More »