The 2100 block of Bainbridge is a little unusual, for two different reasons. First, almost all the homes on the north side of the block have little front yards, a condition that we also see on the the south side of the 2200 block. We have no idea how or why this happened, but we’ve always been into these yards, as they create a little bit of extra architectural interest while also providing the residents with some useful and functional open space. The other notable thing about this block is that the entire south side is dominated by the compound that’s connected to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. The church is located on 22nd Street, but several low-rise buildings associated with the church, including residences, are contained on the property as well.
The church has been located here for many decades, and appears to be thriving in an age that many local churches are struggling with membership and upkeep. Along with owning the half block bordered by 21st, 22nd, Pemberton, and Bainbridge Streets, the church also owns a number of one-off buildings around the neighborhood. Most of those buildings are occupied by congregants, but the church also owns a handful of vacant properties. Those properties might have escaped attention as recently as a decade ago, but at this point, vacant buildings stick out like a sore thumb in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.
This brings us to 2109 Bainbridge St., which had been sitting vacant for a number of years, under ownership of the church. Back in 2008, the church got a variance to convert the building into a duplex, and it got a little work done, but that work was not completed and the building continued to sit unoccupied, if unobtrusively so.
You can see in the image above though, the building has now undergone a thorough renovation effort. But if you look carefully (and if you read the title of this post), you’ll notice that the building is now missing something rather important- a front door. Our initial suspicion was quickly confirmed by a peek at public record. As you probably also guessed, the church sold the building to the folks that live at 2111 Bainbridge St., and those people simply combined the two buildings into one of the largest homes in the neighborhood. As big as that new home now is, it only needs one front door. And besides, the window that replaced the door lets in considerably more natural light.