A reader reached out the other day and drew our attention to three homes currently under construction on Lincoln Drive, in Mount Airy. Granted, this is a little out of our typical geographic scope- but hey, the ZBA has been closed for a month and a half and hardly any construction has occurred around town during that time- so we’ll take what we can get at this point. And besides, visiting Lincoln Drive with the expectation of no traffic sounded like a nice idea on a pretty spring day. So off we went.

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In the past
Historic Nichols-Goehring House

Even for people who live around here, 6625 Lincoln Dr. was a pretty easy property to miss. For most of its recent history at least, this property has been shielded from the street by a small fence and a ton of vegetation. You’d never realize that this property covers over an acre of land, nor would you realize that there’s a home on the property that’s got some historic value. But both are true. The home, which is alternately known as the Nichols-Goehring House or High Acres, was added to the local historic register a little over a year ago, due to its representation of the Colonial Revival architectural style. We’re not experts on this kind of thing, but if this place is designated, we’re not sure why half the homes in this area aren’t on the list.

Construction down the street
Better look
Adjacent architecture

From a practical perspective, we know exactly why this home was nominated to the historic register- after years of vacancy and a foreclosure, developers bought the property in early 2018, paying $360K. Given the size of the parcel, the property lends itself to being subdivided, which is exactly what the developers have done, slicing off three sizable lots and building single family homes on each. If not for the historic designation, we suspect that the Nichols-Goehring House would have been torn down to accommodate a couple more homes, but we’re just speculating. As it stands, there’s still a vacant lot right in front of the historic home which we think could accommodate another home, though perhaps a zoning variance would be required, given its unusual shape.

It will be interesting to see how much these homes ultimately sell for, since they have some obvious selling points. Keeping in mind that we’re a little biased from two months stuck downtown, but Mount Airy possesses some of the most natural beauty in the whole city. Also, there’s not a ton of new construction in Mount Airy, so these homes will surely catch the eyes of potential buyers. On the other hand, the homes are located right on Lincoln Drive, one of the most dangerous roads in Philadelphia, and they have garage parking that will require backing onto Lincoln Drive to get out of your driveway. So that’s at least one strike against, right?