New Developments Abound in Roseville, Part II

A few days back, we covered some of the ongoing projects happening in Roseville, AKA the area northwest of Penn’s campus that’s seen an explosion in new construction over the last several years. Today we have a few more projects to bring to your attention, starting with a giant development on Chestnut Street.

The Next LVL, lvling up

It’s quite impossible to miss the largest construction site in old Roseville- Alterra’s 6-Story, 287-unit, modular-built apartment building at 43rd & Chestnut. As we told you when we covered the project last summer, they’re dubbing this project “The Next LVL.” This monstrous development, a follow-up to the similarly-constructed and named LVL 4125 a block away, won’t possess nearly the architectural character as the beloved, lightning-damaged church it replaced, but will bring this part of Chestnut Street hundreds of new residents.

4200 Ludlow is dunzo

Moving half a block north and another block east, the 92-unit 4200 Ludlow, which we told you about before construction began, has residents moved in and is receiving its finishing touches. The rendering for the building shows a big “4200” that still needs to be installed on the upper-right corner of it’s 42nd Street facade, but figure that’s coming soon enough. Incidentally, this building is also a step down from the Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Church which previously stood around the corner, but it’s probably a step up from the auto garage that was previously at this address.

Climbing gym coming soon

Continuing along, let’s go another block east to the northwest corner of 41st & Ludlow, we find an old church that harkens back to the time of Roseville. Built as the Monumental Baptist Church in 1884 with an addition built in 1914, this church replaced two earlier churches built by the same congregation in the same location in 1829 and 1846. Still in use as a church until 2019, the property sold in January of this year and will adaptively re-used as a location of Reach Climbing & Fitness. The design, recently approved by the Philadelphia Historical Commission, will include a complete facade restoration and a glass box at the 41st/Ludlow corner. The property has been in use as a COVID testing site of late, but construction should presumably begin soon. An 8-unit building at 4111 Ludlow St., just a few doors west, was completed earlier this year.

The Rose family had their own cemetery

The last part of Roseville that the Rose Family ever owned was a portion of their family’s private burial ground, located on the easternmost segment of the “r”-shaped original property, at what is now 4050 Ludlow Street. Originally much larger, the burial ground was sold off by Rose family members over the years and mostly ended up being used as burial grounds for other groups, most notably the portion located on what is now the 4100 block of Chestnut Street, where an archeological dig recently took place after dispute arose when LVL 4125 was built on a part of it.

The family interred nearly a century’s worth of members at the Ludlow Street site until about 1850. By 1900, the city started coming after the family for the unkempt burial ground- it was completely overgrown with weeds, its stone wall had fallen apart, and only one gravestone was readable. After the Rose Family proved it still owned the property in 1900, plans were made to move the deceased, which included Revolutionary War soldiers First Lieutenant Peter Rose and his brother Second Lieutenant William Rose, both of the Seventh Battalion of the Philadelphia County Militia, to another family burial ground outside the city. In 1904, the property was sold and the new owner stated that the bodies would be re-interred elsewhere. It’s unclear whether either plan materialized, though there is evidence that suggests that the bodies were moved to Mount Moriah Cemetery in 1922.

Garage has been there for about a hundred years

A one-story garage building was built at the site sometime between 1922 and 1925, and was re-skinned with its current facade shortly after the Elwyn Institute purchased it in the 1970s. In 2018, Elwyn sold their entire West Philadelphia portfolio of properties to Penn Medicine, who then listed 4050 Ludlow St. and another former Elwyn-owned property at 4014 Ludlow St. for sale. A developer purchased both properties and 4014 Ludlow St. is now engaged in site work for a future Sonder hotel at that location. The 4050 Ludlow property was flipped to its current owner, who has again listed it for sale with the Stafford Group, now as a 7-Story, 96-unit apartment building development. One would hope that the previous and/or future owners of this site did or will do the necessary due diligence- several years ago, the developers of 218 Arch Street had evidence that the cemetery that had been there was moved, but learned the hard way that it wasn’t.

–Dennis Carlisle

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