Recently we noticed a dumpster in front of some rough looking buildings on 4th Street, just south of Dickinson Square Park. We asked the guys working on the property what's going on, and they informed us that they're demolishing the structures we see today. A peek at the L&I Map confirmed this.
Six years ago, developers purchased 1709-17 S. 4th St., several of the buildings you see pictured above, including the one-story "Antiques" garage and the double-wide three story building next door. They also purchased the adjacent vacant lot. While the garage and the lot don't have any apparent historic relevance, the double-wide building has a plaque on its facade that suggests it's got an interesting past.
We reached out to GroJLart of Philaphilia, knower of things and expert on weird old Philadelphia buildings, to see whether he might have any insight. To his knowledge, the building was a meeting hall (halle is apparently hall in German) for German immigrants in the mid-1800s and was later home to the Frederick Krause brewery. According to a couple of Geohistory maps, there was a synagogue here for a chunk of the 20th century.
The hall/synagogue parcels go all the way to Oriana Street, while the other lots just go back halfway. The demolition of all the buildings would allow for either the construction of a collection of new homes (with a drive aisle accessed on Oriana) or an apartment building with similar parking options. We'd wager on new homes, as we've seen as the common practice in the neighborhood in recent years. Has anyone heard about the developers' plans for this parcel?