A fire tore through 2122 Locust St. back in January, injuring two firefighters and leaving the residents of 21 apartments without a place to live. The 4-alarm fire was so intense that demolition was considered as the only option for the building. But the edifice has quite a bit of history, having been designed by Baker & Dallett and constructed in 1899. Originally known as the Charles F. Gummey House, the building also sits in the Rittenhouse Fitler Historic District and its demolition would have indeed been a bummer to most and a major blow to the preservation-minded among us.
The City stepped in shortly after the fire, demanding that William Penn Realty, the owners of the property, retain the building's historic facade while demolishing its interior. That effort has been ongoing since the spring and we honestly can't be sure if the interior work is finished because the lower level windows are currently boarded up. The building permit was updated last month though, to indicate that the work was completed. So there's that. It should be noted, by the way, that they couldn't save the fourth floor, which suffered too much damage in the fire. Here's what the building looks like today:
According to Philly.com, the owners are indeed planning to rebuild the building from the inside out. If the interior demo work is indeed complete as we suspect, it stands to reason that the building's reconstruction will happen sooner than later. In the meantime, it's pretty cool to look at this shell of a historic building while it rebounds from being on the brink of total demolition.