The Brewerytown Garden, located at the corner of 27th & Master, is one of the more successful community garden spaces we can think of, offhand. The garden was initially established like half a dozen years ago as Marathon Garden, a farm to table operation associated with Marathon Grill. By 2015, Marathon was out and the community stepped in and rechristened the space for the neighborhood. The garden is about half an acre in size, contains 75 individual plots, and has electricity, running water, composting bins, and a community gathering space. The improving Girard Avenue corridor makes Brewerytown a more livable neighborhood, but this garden helps maintain the feeling of community in the area.

Brewerytown Garden

Since it’s kind of our thing, we should point out that there’s some development activity on either side of the Brewerytown Garden. To the west, on the vacant southwest corner of the intersection, there’s a zoning notice posted. Developers are hoping to build a ten unit building on this corner which is for some reason zoned commercial. The project went to the ZBA a couple weeks ago, but the decision was held for two weeks, awaiting “letters from attorneys.” If the property were zoned multi-family, a 9-unit project would be permitted by right, so we don’t see why a 10-unit project would be such a big deal. But there’s no good way for us to predict what’ll happen with the ZBA. Does anyone in the neighborhood know how the project was received by the community?

Zoning notice

In the other direction is a much less controversial project, at least as far as we’re concerned. Developers purchased a two-story home at 2632 Master St. a little over a year ago with an eye toward renovation. The home may have been in lousy condition inside, but the exterior looked like many other homes nearby. Well, maybe it was a little heavy on the vinyl.

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In the past

In renovating the home, the developers have added a third story, taking the home out of scale with the two homes next door. This doesn’t bother us even a little bit. The renovation is interesting to us because the cladding is a product we don’t know that we’ve ever seen. It almost looks like fish scales on the facade. The developers used the same material on the western party wall, and somebody painted the “scales” to add a new dimension to a preexisting mural.

Current view
Old mural, plus colorfully painted siding

We’d contend that the Brewerytown Garden is now even cooler, thanks to the upgraded mural. And we have to think that the adjacent garden will be a great selling point for the renovated home, once it gets listed on the market.

Now, does anyone know anything about the material that was used on the building’s facade? We wonder whether we can expect to see it used more often in the future, as builders discover it. And we can’t wait to see it overused, get sick of the style, and eventually lambaste all the fishy new construction around town.