Staggering Changes For the 1900 Block of N. Orianna

At this point, it's well worn territory that South Kensington has changed dramatically over the last several years. In its heyday, this neighborhood was part of a larger section of town known as the Workshop of the World, home to numerous factories which produced goods that were used locally and, uh, all over the world. But industry changed through the 20th century and American urban factories fell out of favor as production moved to less [...]
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New Building Coming Soon, Around the Corner From Jewelers Row

A reader reached out to us recently, wondering about some nearly completed demolition activity near the corner of 8th & Walnut. Needless to say, this is not an area that typically sees buildings get torn down, so our first assumption was that we were losing a wonderful historic structure. In reality? Not so much. In the past As anyone might expect, the north side of the 700 block of Walnut Street is quite historic, with buildings dating back [...]
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Sweet Renderings For Francisville Apartment Building

About a month ago, we asked you to direct your gaze to 1723 Francis St., a sizable and handsome building at the intersection of Francis and Perkiomen Streets. As we told you then, the building was once known as the Tilden Home For Aged Couples, and was used for senior housing as far back at the late 1800s. As the years rolled along, it eventually became a rooming house. A little over a decade ago, a proposal [...]
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Homes Are Under Construction on Fernon Street, A Sign of Things to Come

Counterintuitively, the 2200 block of Fernon Street isn't visible from 22nd Street, thanks the the diagonal orientation of Point Breeze Avenue. Coming down Point Breeze Avenue, however, this block is quite obvious to anyone. The block particularly sticks out these days due to the three new construction homes currently under construction, all of which are rising on lots that were previously vacant. A fourth home is under construction closer to 23rd Street, where a third floor addition has [...]
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Funky Addition at Front & Susquehanna

We were making our way through East Kensington the other day and as we approached the Front Street from Susquehanna, we spied some construction activity just on the other side of the El. The construction in question was taking place at 100 W. Susquehanna Ave., a mixed use building that's had a variety of uses over the years. Per old zoning records, this building has been used as a drug store, a candy shop, a [...]
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A Storage Facility Appears on Swanson Street and For a Change This Makes Sense

A reader reached out the other day, wondering about a new building that appeared over the last several months on Swanson Street, in that weird industrial area behind the Columbus Commons shopping center. The property in question is 2351 S. Swanson St., a parcel that was home to an ink works back in the day. More recently, it looks like it was a Comcast warehouse for a time, and even more recently it was a transportation [...]
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Development Opportunity on Frankford Avenue?

Back in the day (and by that we mean like ten years ago), things were radically different on the Frankford Avenue corridor than they are today. As the years have fallen off the calendar, Frankford Avenue has become one of the premier commercial corridors in Philadelphia, with an enviable mix of small businesses that make it a crucial aspect of life in the neighborhood and a destination for people who live elsewhere. A mere ten years [...]
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Sergeant Street Homes Shedding Their Skins After About a Decade

For many decades, until around 2008, a pair of industrial buildings covered the property at 2304-18 E. Sergeant St., despite the fact that the immediate surrounding area is primarily residential. Given the industrial history of the neighborhood, this wasn't an unusual situation, but we nevertheless have to think that most neighbors would have preferred the sight of homes over the sight of these worn down structures. Even back in the mid-aughts, we imagine that at least a [...]
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Put in Your Two Cents About the Future of Washington Avenue, Probably

Washington Avenue is many things to many people. For contractors, it's a centrally located hub where they can pick up building materials and illegally park in the median with relatively little fear of getting a ticket. For the building supply companies that sell stuff to those contractors, it's a wide street that's accessible for eighteen wheelers and allows for easy double parking when customers are picking up materials. For pedestrians and bikers, it's a terrifying [...]
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New Mixed Use Building For Sale at Ridge & Girard

The property at 1811-13 Ridge Ave. has been sitting vacant for at least the last twenty-five years. This was not an unusual sight for most of those years, as Francisville was in a severely depressed state, with the Ridge Avenue corridor beset by blight and vacancy. Of course, it's old news at this point that Francisville has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last decade or so, with a ton of new residential construction throughout [...]
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