According to the zoning application, 1526 S. 10th St., a one-story corner property a block off of Passyunk Avenue, is set to gain three stories in the coming months. It’s not so often that we see multiple stories added to a row home, but we don’t see a whole lot of single-story row homes around town, for that matter. Looking back at an image from Google Maps Street View, we can see that the building has gotten some work done in the past couple of years.
The presence of a cornice in the first image gives credence to the idea that the building was originally constructed as a one-story structure, or at the very least, converted to it many years ago. The retrofitted door on the corner clearly signifies previous commercial use. According to the Zoning Archive, a newspaper distribution business existed here as late as 1960, giving neighborhood paperboys a pickup location for their deliveries. Prior to that it served as a more of a corner store, selling cigars, candy, and newspapers. Does anyone know of other businesses that called this building home in the past fifty years? Does anyone remember it being any taller?
Looking at old photos of Philly neighborhoods as we often do, the presence of a little store on almost every corner really sticks out as a major difference with our modern city. Passyunk Square has done a better job than most neighborhoods in retaining these stores, but the soon-to-be-permanent conversion of this former commercial space into a single family home is another reminder that these corner commercial spaces are becoming fewer and farther between. Looking across the street at a former deli that’s now vacant, we wonder whether this space might be next…
Here’s hoping that it isn’t.