It was almost exactly one year ago that an electrical fire struck Jack B. Fabrics at 748 S. 4th St. on Fabric Row. The fire took the life of a fire Captain and resulted in the demolition of the building that was home to the store for many years. It also led directly to the relocation of several nearby businesses, whose storefronts were so damaged that continued operations became impossible.

Before the fire

A few days after

We went to Essene over the weekend, and passed by this corner afterward. What we saw was quite surprising.

Framed out

As you can see, a new building is rising where the old one previously stood. Like its predecessor, it will have retail on the first floor. According to permits, it will also have four apartments above. Hopefully, as framing finishes up, a parapet will extend the height of the building to match the structure next door, as the old building did. We're also crossing our fingers that some kind of cornice will be included, though we're not optimistic that it will be as ornate as the one that was lost. Once the building is finished, we would have to imagine that Jack B. will be moving back to its original location. But that day is still several months away.

Adjacent storefronts still shuttered

Looking at the buildings next door, we see that the storefronts remain closed up. According to a Hidden City story from last year, the businesses that were here before did find other spots nearby, and we would doubt that they'll be coming back to their previous locations. As for when these retail spaces will be leasable and occupied again, we couldn't tell you.

We're eagerly looking forward to a day in the near future when all of the physical damage from the fire has been repaired, and this wound on fabric row is finally healed.