We were scanning the zoning calendar the other day, and discovered some upcoming development planned for the 1900 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Currently, 1913-1919 Cecil B. Moore Ave. is a vacant lot that's about 6,000 sqft in size with mixed-use zoning. Developers purchased the property a few years back and are now looking to build a purely residential building with 24 apartments which will ostensibly target Temple students.
We haven't seen much student housing development this far west on this Cecil B., though there's one prominent example in a stucco-clad development that went up at the northwest corner of 19th & Cecil B back in 2012. This building is especially depressing because it sits immediately next door to the Temple of Praise Baptist Church, a handsome building that was originally built over a hundred years ago as the Vogue Theater. Let us hope that the planned project on the western side of the church doesn't take any architectural cues from the buildings to the east of the church.
The church isn't the only attractive architecture on this block. At the southwest corner of 19th & Cecil B is a row of four buildings, each with mansard a roof at the fourth story. Once upon a time, before their bricks were coated in stucco, we'd have to think that these buildings were pretty striking. Two of those buildings are now getting renovated, so expect them to look much improved in the near future. The second building from the corner is already looking pretty good.
The building at 1923-29 Cecil B. Moore Ave. is even more architecturally impressive. Even with a metal security gate covering most of the first floor and all the windows boarded up, you can see that this building has amazing bones. We have no idea whether it was built for something special or whether the builders of this larger than usual mixed-use building simply hired an awesome architect back in the day, but we're glad it has survived through the years. We just hope someone renovates this gem at some point in the future and isn't tempted to demolish it.
Again, this block has plenty of architectural inspiration for the big new project that's in the works. Forgive us for not being terribly optimistic that the developers will take advantage of these fantastic examples, though. We've been wrong before, just not all that often with this sort of stuff.