Historic Building Getting New Life, Additional Backyard Neighbor in Roxborough?

Philadelphia is known for its history (duh) and is currently the nation’s only UNESCO World Heritage City. But did you know that Roxborough and Ridge Ave. go allllll the way back to before city’s founding and that the neighborhood was recently designated a historic district? We typically think of Old City as the country’s most historic square mile, but northwest Philadelphia has plenty of gems as well. Let’s add 7041 Ridge Ave. to the list of spots that should soon get some polish.

Current view of original building from 1830, with recent front addition
View across Ridge Ave. shows full site, including parking lot
Side view shows front and back additions
View looking southeast shows one-story addition to be removed

A recent submission to the historical commission shows us what is planned for the site. Select Redevelopment is proposing to refurbish the existing building, removing the non-contributing additions that went up in the 1980s/90s while replacing windows, installing a new roof and completely rebuilding the front patio area. A 4-story building with 20 units designed by Square Architects is situated to fill most of the vacant lot to the north, with four more units included in the original structure. Let’s check out the current plans below.

Site plan for current building and planned addition
Aerial view of the site
View from Ridge showing how the two buildings will interact
Close up shows reconstructed front porch

While we think this is a solid project overall, the Architectural Committee of the Historical Commission had a few concerns. Per this past Tuesday’s meeting, the project was denied approval in its current form, mostly due to issues with the new building’s massing and proximity to the historical structure. And while Adams Carpet Center and Andy’s Plumbing & Heating won’t have to find new homes just yet, we are hopeful that we will see a compromise which will allow this dapper project to proceed in an updated form.

6712 Ridge Ave. a few blocks away to the south

If all of this feels unusually familiar, don’t be alarmed. It was only this past October that we told you about a nearly identical concept┬ájust down the street from here. The proposal at 6712 Ridge Ave. is actually from the same developer, so we are happy to see they are bullish on the area. The Architectural Committe gave approval for that project, provided a few adjustments were made. It’s exciting that these diamonds in the rough will get some of their sparkle back as Ridge Ave. continues to transform.