The Graduate Hospital neighborhood is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town these days, offering close proximity to Rittenhouse but not commanding Rittenhouse prices. Yet. As recently as fifteen years ago though, this was a neighborhood in transition and you could still buy a shell for well under a hundred grand. The 700 block of 20th Street was, at that time, a mix of vacant land, older buildings, and a smattering of new construction. Today there's nary a vacant lot and just about every property is either relatively new or has been renovated in recent memory. Actually, let's track back that last statement- there's now one vacant lot on the block.
Looking at old Google Maps images, it looks like 769 S. 20th St. was sitting empty for several years and was one of the only rough looking homes left on the block. A couple months ago, we noticed the home was getting torn down and we assumed that developers had stepped in to buy it. Looking at public record though, it appears that it hasn't changed hands since at least 1990. So what gives? We don't know for sure, but given the raft of violations on the property, we would think it was demolished by the City. That demo lien could result in the property going to sheriff's sale at some point in the near future, where we're certain it will get snatched up by a developer in a heartbeat, and for a pretty penny.
Across the street, we see that 2000 Saint Albans St. is getting renovated. This triplex might be the ugliest building in a neighborhood that had an unattractive architectural feature named after it, which is an impressive feat when you think about it. We wish the owners, in making their renovations, could have done a little more with the facade than swapping vinyl for some other sheathing on the bay window. Oh well, maybe in another decade or two, they'll do a better job.
Continuing to the north, we see a home at 721 S. 20th St. is getting renovated and a new home is getting built next door. The property at 719 S. 20th St. was previously associated with the adjacent home and was used for parking and outdoor space. And we should know, we took a tour of the property many years ago when we were looking for a place to live. The former owners have sold the home to one developer and the lot to another developer, and we'd think that both will be flipped once the work is finished. Next door is a former firehouse that was converted into two apartments many years ago. It's always been one of our favorite buildings in the neighborhood and it'll soon have a fancy new neighbor.