If you've been walking, biking, or driving up 16th Street in Center City in the last week or so, it's quite likely that 218 S. 16th St. has caught your eye.
This four-story building was home to Mi Lah Vegetarian for years until they moved to Ambler last summer, and the retail space has sat vacant ever since. The space continues to sit vacant, but the building looks very different, all of a sudden.
Artist Patrick Jacobs and the West Collection recently installed this piece, Field With Dandelions, on the facade of the building. According to the Streets Department blog, Jacobs makes "surrealistic, miniature sculptures that you view from a tiny round glass lens." And he apparently makes buildings look like a field of dandelions from time to time.
This is really cool, even though we have no idea how it came about. The building was listed for sale a couple years back, with new owners coming forward a little over a year ago. Digging a little deeper, we see that the same developers own the parking garage next door on Chancellor Street, a property we've heard could get redeveloped at some point in the near future. We'd wager that the corner building will be somehow integrated into the redevelopment of the building next door and will get torn down in that process and the developers are giving us a little eye candy until that day (possibly) comes. To be clear, this is purely speculation and it's quite possible that this building and the art installation will stick around for many years to come. But if the wrecking ball shows up here in six months, remember that you heard it here first.