Former Monastery in Francisville Being Partially Preserved

Last month
The rest of the buildings

The former Poor Clare’s monastery at Corinthian St. and Girard Ave. has been vacant since the nuns moved to the burbs in 1977 (perhaps in search of lower taxes and better schools?). The current owner, 2012 W. Girard Associates, purchased the buildings in 2005 and initially proposed converting the buildings into seventeen luxury condos. Regrettably, when credit tightened considerably a few years ago, that project became financially unfeasible, and earlier this summer, a new plan emerged to tear down the three buildings and replace them with 42 apartments and 16 parking spaces. The community did not care for this plan.

About two weeks ago, demolition began at the site, with several sources reporting that all three buildings would be torn down, despite the owner of the building not having gotten any zoning variances to this point.

Site today
Mostly gone already

Contrary to other reports we’ve read, we recently got word that the developer will, in fact, be preserving the facade of the middle building, the most unique of the three. Interestingly, the building will be taken down piece by piece, put into storage, and then reincorporated into a new structure which is currently being redesigned. Tentatively, we’re hearing that the facade will be moved slightly on the site, but its new location is still being determined. The number of units and the parking situation are all still being examined, and we’ll be sure to pass along any new information as it comes our way.