What’s Going on at 9th & Mifflin?

Every few months, we get another email from a reader wondering about 1842 S. 9th St., a mixed-use building on the northwest corner of 9th & Mifflin. This property seems to have apartments on the upper floors and surely had a business on the first floor once upon a time. We couldn't tell you whether the apartments are occupied but we're pretty confident that the retail space lacks a tenant.

The property

This building once must have looked amazing and could one day look great again. The light colored brick provides a very unique look in this or any other neighborhood. The bay still has wonderful details, though it badly needs a paint job. Ditto the cornice. The storefront, with some large new windows, could provide a bright and open look at a retail space. The same folks have owned the property since the late 1980s, so unfortunately it seems unlikely that any change will come as long as they continue to own the place. That being said, change could be coming soon nearby.

Southwark School

Former Bok School

Across the street is Southwark Middle School, which has been there for over a hundred years. Also across the street is the former Bok Technical School, which closed its doors last year. The gorgeous deco building was listed for sale after it closed, but we don't think a buyer has been finalized yet. What will be the adaptive reuse here? If somehow this building becomes residential, how attractive does the commercial space become in the old building across the street?