For at least a decade, 143 W. Girard Ave., one of the more interesting buildings in the area, has sat vacant. You've probably passed by here at some point and wondered about it yourself, since its signage is both prominent and memorable. We've probably had half dozen readers ask us about the "Lou's Crab Pad" building over the years, wondering why it's remained vacant and when it will be redeveloped. And to those who have been wondering, it seems the time has finally come.
Several readers gave us the heads up in recent days that the two buildings on the corner of Mascher & Girard are being demolished. While we're happy to see that this property is being redeveloped, we're pretty bummed that a building with such character will be departing this realm. With the demolition of the two buildings here, it of course begs the question of what's coming next. Regrettably, only demolition permits have been pulled to this point. But we did a little digging around and discovered some elevations drawings on the website for Ian Smith Design Group.
Looking at this drawing, we can see that the plan here is for a triple-wide mixed-use building. There will be a commercial space on the ground floor with almost 3,000 sqft of space, and six apartments on the two stories above. While we're glad to hear that this corner will be reactivated and a long-vacant lot filled, we do find ourselves feeling like there's a bit of a missed opportunity here. Wouldn't another story be nice on the West Girard Avenue corridor? And not for nothing, but we think it would have been nice to have sort of design tribute to the structure that's being replaced. Now the only question we have is whether the business that eventually moves into the new building will be a reincarnation of Lou's Crab Pad or some other nautical concept. We'll check back when the time comes.