Out With a Set Back Two Story Home, In With Two New Homes

We often get frustrated when people cry out for uniformity in neighborhood architecture. We admit that some blocks possess a certain rhythm that comes from all the buildings looking the same. And far be it from us to espouse making changes on those blocks, like the north side of the 1600 block of Ellsworth Street. But if we're to be honest, blocks like this are few and far between. And in Fishtown, the architectural diversity is ever present, with building heights and facade materials sometimes changing from house to house. Take 2312 E. York St., for example.

York Street, in the past

For many years, this address featured a little cottage, set back from the other homes on the block, which had a two-story home on one side and a three story home with a mansard on the other side. The home also represented a phenomenally inefficient use of space in a desirable neighborhood, as it sat on a lot that's almost a hundred thirty feet deep and runs all the way to Gordon Street. Last year, BMK Homes bought the property and set themselves to the task of correcting the inefficiency. They were able to get a variance to split the lot, and are now in the process of building two new homes here.

Framing on York St.

Foundations have been poured on Gordon St.

The York Street home will be a fairly standard three-story new construction home. It will have 2,100 sqft of space with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The Gordon Street home, which we think is already under contract, will be a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with a garage. Both are designed by KJO Architecture.

Rendering of York Street home

Rendering of Gordon Street home

With the disappearance of the little home on York Street, you could argue that some architectural diversity has left the block. But looking at the renderings above, it's clear that these new homes will just as different from their surroundings as the home they're replacing. And while we sometimes place older structures on a pedestal over new ones, at least architecturally, there's no inherent advantage we can think of in this case that favors the old over the new. 

Do you agree? Think we're way off base?