Three properties on the 1900 block of Christian Street have been stuck in purgatory for the last several years, but it seems that a resolution has finally arrived. Turning back the clock, the Christian Medical Center made its home at 1929-33 Christian St. for a number of years, with stucco covering the first floor of the facade and vinyl siding on the upper floors. At some point the medical offices closed and the buildings were converted into apartments but aside from two-thirds of an amazing cornice, the properties still looked quite awful.
We checked in on these buildings in late 2014, after they were purchased by developers. As a first step, the developers removed the stucco and the siding, revealing the original facades that had been hidden for many years. As exciting as it was to see the old facades, it was at the same time very upsetting to realize just how badly the buildings had been butchered over time.
Since 2014, these facades have seen significant progress, with a new doors, windows, a new layer of brick on the first floor, and some aggressive cleaning on the upper floors. To our knowledge though, the interior renovation work has remained incomplete as the properties have been tied up in litigation. The developers went to the ZBA back in 2016 to get a zoning permit for three units in each building, but got denied. They then appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, which remanded the project back to the ZBA. You’ll notice, there are zoning notices posted on each building for that hearing, which took place last week.
It took several years, but the ZBA has finally approved triplexes here. We’re under the impression that some of the units remain unfinished while others are somehow occupied. But whatever the current status of the interior construction, with this ruling the developers can finally close out their permits and move on from this slowly moving project.