We have spent plenty of time on Vine St. in Old City recently, as projects are popping up and wrapping up left and right. This has been one of the busier streets in the area, with the Painted Bride serving something of an axis around which everything else spun. Funnily enough, this is one of the few properties which hadn’t seen development, despite years of plans that were dashed due to ornery neighbors, seemingly oblivious to the change taking place around them. As such, the latest plans for the Bride were dropped in June of last year, where an 85-unit Sonder with a rooftop restaurant and cafe would rise where the Zagar mural once graced the low-rise structure.

A look at the modern approach for the future of the site
A rooftop restaurant (left) and resident amenity (right)

It sure looked like these plans would move forward, especially after a trip last fall showed pieces of the mosaic lying on the ground as parts were salvaged. However, when we went by today, the building looked mostly the same, though signs of the mosaic’s removal were tough to miss upon a closer look.

The view of the Painted Bride today, not noticeably different than in the past from afar
A closer look at the facade shows the brick behind the removed tiles

So, the big news is that the site – both designed and owned by Shimi Zakin of Atrium Design Group – is now up for sale, along with the approved plans. This is a bittersweet move for Zakin, who stated “this is an amazing project.” As such, the future for this site could go in a number of different directions. We could see this demolished and built with its current plans within months or we could see this sit as-is for years, perhaps as yet another plan comes along. Until that time, however, there is still plenty happening in the immediate vicinity.

Looking west down Vine from N. 2nd St. several years back
The same view today shows the huge changes

We wish we could have seen the Painted Bride saved, with that glorious overbuild from the past already up and hosting new residents. But as this project was pulled into the mess of local politics, it is not surprising that this site remains as is, with its future still up in the air. It is certainly a frustrating outcome for what could have been a truly wonderful project that would have satisfied both those who pine for more housing in an appealing area and those who want to retain the artistic character of one of the best neighborhoods in town.