Over the last couple of months, we’ve told you about two rather large projects in close proximity to one another in Francisville, and figured it would be nice to provide some updates.

One project, at the corner of 19th and Poplar Sts., involves five duplexes replacing a church that was torn down last year. In the past couple of months, two of the buildings have been framed out, despite the occasional union protest. As you can see, facades are going up at the moment.

Early this year

Two buildings so far

View from Poplar St.

Around the corner, on the 1800 block of Ginnodo St., two of the ten single family homes planned for part of the parcel that once held the Ridge Avenue Farmers Market have been framed out as well. One of the impressive plans for this project was that the new construction would mirror the existing buildings on Ginnodo St., but a reader points out that the developer might not be following through completely with this.

Side by side comparison. Photo comes via Philadelphia Speaks, from user Elzblz

Two units framed out, looking toward Ridge Ave.

Closer look

Homes across the street

Notably, it appears that the new homes are missing transoms, or the windows above every front door across the street. Is it possible that the transom windows will be installed once the facades go up? Or is the developer cutting a corner and changing the design that was supported by the community? We’ll have to wait to see exactly what happens, but it certainly seems like the latter at the moment.

If the transoms have indeed been scrapped, it’s certainly a shame, as they add a wonderful architectural detail that many new construction homes seem to lack. But is it the sort of thing that the city would step in to correct? Will a Cease and Desist order appear on these buildings? Or is L&I spread too thin to fight something like a change to a minor design element?

We’ll keep an eye on what happens here in the weeks to come…