You Could Live in Historic Columbus Hall

If you're heading down 8th Street in Bella Vista, your eye is easily drawn to the handsome Columbus Hall building just south of Fitzwater Street. Located at 744-46 S. 8th St., the building was home in recent decades to Mama Yolanda's restaurant, now out of business. It was initially built as a building for a volunteer fire company, and in 1867 became a social hall for Italian immigrants. Two years ago, we told you about plans to convert the wonderful building into nine apartments after developers presented to the community.

Amazing cornice plus new roof deck

Bottom part of the building

The sign on the building indicates that the residential conversion is either done or at least approaching the finish line. The interior renovation, we'd imagine, was thorough. The exterior work was minor in the grand scheme, involving the removal of some awnings, new windows, a little restoration work on the facade, and the elimination of the weird green paint job on the first floor.

In the past

This building, which has great history and strikes an impressive architectural note in this residential neighborhood, is not designated historic and could have been demolished by the developers. We're so happy that the building could be preserved and converted into an appropriate use for the area. After all, who wouldn't want to live here, a few doors down from a bar, a couple of blocks from the Italian Market, and an easy walk to Center City? And if you can live in an interesting building like Columbus Hall, all the better. Has anyone seen any of the units in person? We're curious about whether any interior details were retained.