Blight of the Week: The Samuel Machinery Company Building

This attractive building has repeatedly caught our eye as the years have passed, keeping us curious as to how such a large building in such a prominent location has remained vacant and blighted for the better part of the last decade (or more?). Time has been a cruel mistress for 135-37 N 3rd St., with windows breaking, paint chipping, and the facade beginning to crumble.


Home to Samuel Machinery Company for roughly a hundred years, this building has been slowly decaying as the neighborhood that surrounds it has grown ever nicer. It was purchased at sheriff sale by Electra 137 LLC back in 2007 for $486K, and these owners have intermittently done some work on the building over the years, most recently last autumn, according to a thread on Philadelphia Speaks. Despite this minimal amount of work, the condition of the building is still quite poor.

Closer look at first floor
So many broken windows

According to public record, the owners have not paid property taxes since 2009, and are currently in arrears to the tune of over $31K (not counting 2012 taxes). And while we’re talking about this building and its regrettable current state, wouldn’t you agree that it would be an excellent candidate for a Doors & Windows citation? And oh by the way, simply throwing some inexpensive vinyl windows in there won’t do the trick for this historic beauty.

From 1965. Ah, the good old days.

Hopefully, the owners of the property will either develop it in the near future (condos would seem appropriate, no?) or sell it to another party with the means to redevelop it. It’s simply not acceptable for this building, so full of potential, to drag down an entire block as it has for the past however many years.

And if the owners aren’t interested in developing or selling…¬†who wants to lend us $800?