Located on the northeast corner of 11th and Montrose Sts., the former home of the South Philadelphia State Bank is a total mystery to us.
The building itself is pretty large, sitting on a lot that covers over 2,600 sqft, with 31′ of frontage on 11th st. We haven’t been able to come up with much information about the structure or the bank itself, but were able to find very basic information, thanks to the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings project. The building was constructed in or around 1919, and designed in the Renaissance style by architects Makenzie and Wiley. Or maybe it’s one person named Wiley Makenzie, we couldn’t find anything about the architects either. According to the PAB, the building was nominated for historic designation by the state but found ineligible. The building also doesn’t appear to be designated historic by the city.
For as long as we can remember, the building has contained a space business called Cambridge Spice Trading Co., and the building has been in rough shape. The property was on the verge of sheriff’s sale last year, and was purchased for $440K by 915-917 South 11th LLC. They then proceeded to put it back on the market for a few months this year for $650K, before taking it off in August.
So who can help us solve the mystery? Whatever happened to South Phila State Bank? How long have the spice people been there? And why has nobody turned this building into cool looking condos yet? We are simply at a loss.