Single-family Home Squeezes Into Awkward Lot Next to I-95

The 100 block of Callowhill St. isn’t the most verdant block in town, and that’s being generous. There are only three properties that have 100 Callowhill addresses, with the rest of the block dominated by a web of onramps and off-ramps linking I-95 and I-676, along with I-95 itself. But this wasn’t always the case, as this block was fully intact prior to the construction of I-95 in the 1970s.

Current view looking west of the hanging gardens of I-95
Bus parking across the street
107 Callowhill St., back in 1963
Neighbors to the west, these addresses no longer exist

The construction of I-95 caused quite a bit of upheaval for this block, along with much of the eastern part of Philadelphia. Take a look at this area as highway construction was getting underway. Terrible.

Callowhill looking more like a battlefield than a neighborhood

Thankfully, things are looking much better around here fifty years later, though we still may never understand how numerous city planners across America collectively decided it made sense to run huge highways through downtown areas of cities. While the 100 block of Callowhill will never go back to the way it once was, we’re happy to report that the block is now getting a new addition in the form of 107 Callowhill St., a single-family home designed and developed by Abitare Design Studio. We actually covered this oddly shaped lot way back in 2015, when plans called for a five-unit building rather than a single family home.

Six-story apartment planned in the past
A new but similar feel for the shift to single-family
Aerial view shows lawn space in side and back yards
Narrow lot leads to interesting floor plan with gallery in center of house
Current progress on site
Looking north through the site at the highway
Dark gray brick is going up

The 4 bedroom, 4.5 baths home is listed for $2.2M and will feature luxury finishes, with multiple outdoor spaces and a roof terrace off the south-facing Callowhill side. As you may recall from a minute ago, this property sits directly next to I-95, which will start work on the massive Revive 95 project tentatively slated to begin in 2023 and take about six years to complete. Weirdly, this building won’t abut its only true neighbor, as 105 Callowhill St. is currently a vacant, narrow lot under different ownership.

Skinny lot just to the east - what is to come?
Million-dollar homes just down the block at Water & Callowhill

And while you might think that this may seem like an odd location to spend a couple of million dollars on a home, this is rising just up the street from other large single-family homes on Callowhill just a few steps closer to the river, perhaps serving as proof of concept that this price point is indeed viable in this location. Once things get going shortly along 2nd St. for the National/Kushner megaproject and Durst starts up on their 300 N. Columbus project, the immediate area will see several hundred additional units in the mix, transforming this stretch to the point that those downshifting 18-wheelers may just end up as music to a future resident’s ears.