Old City Addition Reaches Its Apex After Redesign

Last July, we filled you in on the plans for an addition to 223-25 Market St., a building constructed in 1960 within the Old City Historic District. While not a contributing building, given its location in the district, any additions require approval of the Historical Commission. As you can see below, the more modern initial version has been updated to reflect the architectural context of the neighborhood. As you can also see below, progress is well under way – let’s check it out.

Original plan shows dark panels over a modern brick facade
Current design blends in more with the neighboring architectural materials
Current view looking west across Market St. of the overbuild peeking out

When we last stopped by here, the two-story building was awaiting a freshening up for its nondescript Midcentury facade. 22 units are planned for the space, and we are happy to report that the building’s progress has now reached its full height. We love seeing this building repurposed and bringing even more residents to this already energetic commercial corridor. And a little extra height is never a bad thing in our book, either. Check out the construction thus far and a bit more of what’s in store.

View of the two-story 223-25 Market St. at our last visit
And the view today, with a few extra stories tacked on
Closer view shows the six-over-six windows
The view through the invisible building next door shows outdoor access on upper floors of east facade

We think this updated plan from Atrium Design Group does a wonderful job of maintaining the character of the area without coming across as a facsimile of the historical architecture. We are especially fond of the planter across the entirety of the front of the building, which will give a fresh touch to the brick facade (be sure to keep it watered!). Oh, and being steps away from some quality pizza next door isn’t terrible either. Speaking of neighbors, we look just to the east of where this building is going up to bring you to James Wilson Park. If you’re unfamiliar with this name, don’t be too upset, as the park at the northwest corner of 2nd & Market St. is often referred to as Christ Church Park.

James Wilson Park, apparently the name of the under-utilized, fenced lawn just to the east at 2nd & Market

Plans were in motion a few years ago to revamp the park, and public outreach gathered suggestions for improvements from the community. Unfortunately, no signs of progress have been made for this closed-off plot of grass. Operating functionally as a dog park, we hope this wonderful oasis gets a little love so that it can serve everyone, not just the pup owners. We won’t hold our breath on this one, as this is actually one of the many sites that form Independence National Historical Park, meaning any design changes need to be federally approved. And let’s just say that the US government isn’t exactly famous for moving swiftly, these days. In the meantime at least, we look forward to seeing a couple dozen residents moving into this transit-oriented development nearby.