As much as things have changed in the Rittenhouse neighborhood over the last century or so, the parking garage at the northwest corner of 22nd & Pine has remained a constant. This building has likely caught the eye of just about anyone that’s ever walked past this intersection, as it sticks out like a bit of a sore thumb when compared to all the handsome architecture in the area. The building is not only notable for its industrial look, but for the revolving door in the little retail space at the corner. Over the last handful of years, we can remember at least half a dozen different businesses operating out of this space, with the most recent business being a children’s art studio.
Children will remain a theme here moving forward, but with considerably more staying power. There’s a zoning notice posted to the building, calling out a plan to convert the building into a day care center. A story from Philadelphia Free Press provides more information, explaining that a franchise of the Goddard School will renovate the entire building into a private preschool and daycare which will serve up to 150 children and employ roughly three dozen people. With the proliferation of strollers in Fitler Square and Graduate Hospital, we have no doubt that this location will attract plenty of customers, assuming it gets approved at the ZBA. And with a letter of non-opposition from CCRA (assuming a few achievable provisos), approval seems likely.
When we first saw the zoning notice on the building, we would never have predicted a renovation plan. This is a 6,500 sqft parcel in one of the most prime locations in Philadelphia, so we would have instead expected demolition and the construction of a few multimillion dollar mansions. Instead, the building will get gutted and rebuilt from the inside, ultimately providing the area with another early childhood option. And given the amount of money the school will likely pour into the renovation, figure on the building sticking around for decades to come.