A reader shot us an email recently, wondering what’s up with 6056 Ridge Ave., the former Roxborough-Manayunk Bank building. Over the last couple of months, developers have torn the facade off of the building as it undergoes a massive renovation.

In the past

The property was built in 1956, according to the Preservation Alliance, and was designed by Herman A. Schuh Junior. Montgomery Media tells us that Citizens Bank purchased the bank about a decade ago, and then moved across the street a few years back. While people might agree or disagree on the desirability of the architecture of the old bank building, few would say that the bank’s new digs are an aesthetic improvement, at least on the outside.

Current Citizens Bank location, old bank building in the background

Again according to Montgomery Media, the owners of the old bank building are breaking it up into retail and office space. Looking at a low-res rendering, it appears as though the new facade will be much more contemporary and the addition of lots of new windows will make the building far more friendly to pedestrians. It’s seemingly great news that this building that’s been vacant for several years will finally be returning to active use.

Still has a ways to go

But the article goes on to say that some residents are not enthralled with the project, and lament that the original facade isn’t being preserved. Concerns about the project include parking, the quality of tenants that will be attracted, and a sense that the old is sometimes superior to the new. Despite these worries from some neighbors, the development is clearly moving forward (if it stopped now it would certainly be terrible). We’ll be interested to not only see what the finished product looks like, but exactly what kind of retail tenants the newly renovated building is able to attract. Stay tuned.