Driving across Fairmount Ave. over the weekend, this massive building caught our attention. 640-42 N 18th St., along with the adjacent two lots to the south, are owned by Albert and Joan Wachlin, who have owned the two northern parcels since 1992. Wachlin runs a remodeling company and owns a number of properties in the Fairmount neighborhood, but sure seems to be underusing this building, which has the potential to be majestic if properly restored. We’re thinking residential apartments, perhaps with parking on the lots next door? Or maybe, since Wachlin is in the landlord business, he would consider renting commercial space on the first floor with residences above? If nothing else, we would accept a simple cleanup to the facade. This building looks awful.
While the last option would be a disappointment, we sure hope something happens on this corner, and soon. With all the excitement just a couple of blocks to the west, this building seems poised to take advantage of the bursting energy in Fairmount. And look across the street: An older building converted into condos! It can be done!