We have never been fond of giant empty lots smack dab in the middle of the urban fabric, and the one at 1823 Callowhill St. is an unfortunate example of just that. After a previous life as an orphanage and recreation center designed by Elizabeth Fleisher, Philly’s first registered female architect, the building was sadly demolished several years ago. The Land on Callowhill, a beer garden, filled this lot with some activity for a summer or two, but it was always planned as a placeholder in advance of a new project.

1823Callowhill-from 1949_ccexpress
Former orphanage and recreation center designed by Elizabeth Fleisher, from 1949
In the recent past, a beer distributor and an empty field
Recently used as a beer garden called The Land On Callowhill

Plans from the Orens Brothers in 2015 originally called for 32 units above a microbrewery. In 2020, a shift to 57 apartments over a fresh food store and two other commercial spaces came to CDR. The fresh food store allowed for extra height and density along with a new design, with an elevated courtyard in the middle of the U-shaped building. This project is now called The Baldwin and we are happy to report that construction is full steam ahead. Check out the current progress and some renderings of what’s to come, thanks to Wulff Architects.

Original plans called for fewer units over a microbrewery
Current view looking northwest from across Callowhill
A rendering of what we can expect to see in the future
Another view of the site, with walls going up
Another view of what's to come, sporting ample balconies
Close up of modular construction panel

This is a major change for this stretch of Callowhill. While the rest of the neighborhood has been teeming with development in seemingly every direction, this area has been sadly underutilized for a very, very long time. The row immediately across the street is lined with restaurants, so it’s exciting seeing things start to take shape. We imagine the restaurant operators won’t be sad to see a bunch of new customers move in across the street in the next couple years, either.

Awesome row of restaurants directly across the street
1801 Callowhill remains empty, with The Cut on the right

We do wish that we had some news on the giant lot at 1801 Callowhill St. which cradles this site to the north and east. This massive lot, which abuts “The Cut” portion of the Rail Park, is rumored to need substantial remediation. We hope sometime soon that the economics will lead someone to take the plunge and give a new life to this desirable location.