The other day, before the sidewalks turned to snow and the streets turned to ice, we spotted an impressive ongoing demolition effort at 1400 Ellsworth St., a former school. A couple years back, we recall hearing about plans to build an addition onto this building to create something called the Cascia Center, "a place of healing, reflection, and assistance for all people." According to the Passyunk Post, the Center will still open, albeit with a completely different design.

School is disappearing

View from the east

Old plans for the Cascia Center which are clearly not being implemented. Image from Passyunk Post.

Rather than renovate the old school and add the glass addition pictured above, the new plan is for a new one-story structure which will have about 6,000 sqft of space. We're not sure, but we would assume that the new building will go up on the site of the old school and that the large vacant lot on the corner will still become a parking lot as suggested in the rendering.

But that sure seems like a waste of prime real estate to us. The project was apparently delayed and scaled down because of problems with fundraising. Wouldn't it be a huge boon to this organization to instead build the new Center on the corner, use a small part of the parcel for a parking lot, and sell off the remaining part of the land to a private developer? The proceeds from that sale could enable the organization to do some amazing things. Hopefully, the plans are not yet set in stone and something like this could still be accomodated.

Stalled construction across the street

Meanwhile, the project across Carlisle Street at 1402 Ellsworth St. remains stalled. Remember, we last checked in on this property almost two years ago when a variance to turn it into three apartments with a parking space had been appealed. Does anyone have an update on this situation?