The 900 block of Federal Street is a delightful Passyunk Square block, sitting just off the Italian Market, across from Capitolo Playground, and mere steps from Pat’s and Geno’s. This being Philadelphia though, of course there’s a little bit of weirdness to consider. First, at the beginning of the block, there are a pair of garages that were surely used historically for storage for businesses on 9th Street. You can see, however, that one of them is in the midst of an identity crisis.

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900 block of Federal
New addition

This building at 911 Federal St. is going residential! The addition is a bit unusual, with few windows in the front but typical windows in the rear. As you might imagine, this home will have parking in the front, but because it’s an addition, it won’t have a basement, nor will it have a standard layout. We should mention, this project required a zoning variance in order to proceed, due to its use of the garage for a parking spot and for a slight exceeding of the height limit. We wonder whether the building will get a new garage door once construction is finished, to better fit with the contemporary facade on the upper floors, though maintaining the tribute to the old industrial look could also be a cool look.

Old blight

Just a few doors to the west, we have news that will surely be exciting to people that live and work nearby. At long last, the long blighted property at 923 Federal St. has a demolition permit. This property has been owned by the same party for over a decade, and it’s been in terrible shape for all of that time, even drawing our attention for its poor condition way back in 2012. Last year, the owners proposed demolition and the construction of a new home, set back from the street, with parking out front. But that got shot down by the community and the ZBA. We don’t see permits for new construction as of yet, but we assume that a new home with no parking will eventually rise here, eliminating the worst home on the block. Perhaps the neighbors will throw a party when the demolition is done?