The northeast corner of 6th & Girard is home to a rather cool looking edifice which has fortunately survived years of neighborhood decline and what looks like less than ideal care from its owners over time. The building originally operated as the Sixth Street Farmers Market and was also used as a theater, a “bowling alley, pool hall, nightclub, scratch and dent appliance showroom, and makeshift porn film studio,” according to Hidden City. That’s not to be confused, of course, with a permanent porn film studio.

We’ve actually written about this building once before, back in 2012, as a batting cage business was planning to open here. That business was called Everybody Hits Philadelphia and was ended up being a huge success in the neighborhood, doubling as a hangout for kids in the area and a performance venue, per Billy Penn. The same story indicates that the building sold toward the end of 2019, resulting in the closing of said business.

View of the building
From the north

The loss of the business is certainly a shame for this neighborhood, but we’re pleased to say that the building itself won’t be going anywhere. Given the building’s wonderful bones, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s on the Historic Register. The new owners are working on a plan to convert the building to a mixed-use project, which will entail restoring most of the existing building, demolishing a section that’s not visible from the street, and constructing a four-story section in the rear of the property. All told, the project will have 41 apartments and about 3,000 sqft of retail space at the corner. Here’s a rendering from Continuum Architecture, to get an idea of what’s likely in store.

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The notes ahead of the public meeting indicate that Historical Commission staff is supportive of the demolition aspect of the project but wants to work with the architects on some of the design choices, especially in terms of windows. Specifically, the staff will ask the developers to replicate split, arched fanlight transoms in currently closed up openings. This will only make the building look better, though it will be a bit of challenge to properly restore this building, given the lack of historic images of the structure. Still, the building has looked worse for the wear for as long as we can remember, and once this project moves forward, this corner will improve immeasurably. It’s just a bummer that the cost to this change was a wonderful local business.