Living in a city with an older housing stock as we do, we often see interesting alterations to century-old facades. People do all kinds of crazy stuff, like adding horrible awnings, painting their bricks all sorts of terrible colors, creating unfortunate stucco details, covering over their cornices with bland vinyl covers, chopping off bay windows, and the list goes on. Almost every older home in Philadelphia has gotten new windows over the years, in some cases several times. For some of those properties, for reasons we admit we don't know, the homeowners decided to shrink the window sizes, which necessitated shrinking the window openings. In some cases, careful brickwork has covered up this change. In others, it looks like architectural garbage. Take 1531 Tasker St., for example:
It's pretty clear that the window openings once went from lintel to lintel, matching the home next door. When the change occurred, the owners at the time made no effort to hide the altered window size, filling the gaps with bricks and mortar that don't come close to approximating the materials on the rest of the facade. We get it that smaller windows were probably less expensive at the time, but was it really so much less expensive if you account for the additional framing and brickwork? It doesn't seem possible. Passing by the other day, we discovered that the windows in the photo above are gone and have been replaced with plywood.
Seeing this, we were optimistic that developers had purchased the property and a renovation was in the cards. And we were hopeful that this effort would mean restoring the window openings to their original sizes. At the moment though, it appears that the property has not changed hands nor do we see any renovation permits. Even if new owners aren't stepping in, we're hopeful that the longtime owners will see it fit to restore the building to something closer to its original state. The rest of the block, which is by the way home to Circles Thai, would surely appreciate the change.