Francisville will soon get five new triplexes, but it will come at the expense of a church. We happened to pass by the 1500 block of Cambridge St. the other day and noticed a zoning notice at 1510 Cambridge St., the home of the Church of God Through the Truth. Many churches around town are architectural spectacles, but this one looks like it may have had a former life as a warehouse or garage.
The building, along with the vacant lot to the west, were listed for sale earlier this year for $1.3M. Last week, developers went before the ZBA for permission to build five triplexes here. This is necessary because this side of the block is zoned for commercial use. Perhaps this was appropriate at one point, but now residential seems like the correct path. The north side of the block is entirely residential, with a line of buildings that have seemingly escaped the wave of development that's swept over the neighborhood in the last few years.
Architecturally, these homes are far more satisfying than much of the new construction we're seeing lately. You'll notice in the foreground, two homes are sitting vacant and blighted, and they've sadly been in this poor condition for several years. Surely, at some point in the near future, a developer will step in and purchase one or both. We're rooting for the possibility that, instead of demolition and new construction, they'll renovate and maintain the handsome architectural pattern with the other homes on the block. We wouldn't wager on that happening, though.