Just last week, we showed you some new construction in Ludlow, where a new 5-story building with 13 units was replacing a lot that’s been vacant for a very long time. You may recall, we also pointed out the unique modernist Temple United Presbyterian Church as well. Good times.

Today, we’re right back to this area, this time looking north on the 1300 block of N. Franklin Street. From what we can tell, this block was historically lined by attractive twin row homes, each with an arched entryway over the front door. By the time the mid 2000s rolled around, only eight of these original homes remained, with the rest having been demolished over the years as the neighborhood declined. Over the last decade and a half though, many of those vacant lots have filled in with new construction, and even the misery of 2020 didn’t stop that momentum.

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 At 4.25.38 PM
View on the block a couple years back
IMG_7693 2
Current view

There are currently two multi-family buildings under construction on the block. The five-unit building at 1318 N. Franklin St. is a welcome addition, as it has replaced a vacant lot. It’s a bit of a different story for the new five-unit building at 1316 N. Franklin St., which is rising in the place of one of the original homes on the block. While we’re generally pleased by the new construction on the block, we confess we’re a little bummed that it’s coming at the expense of an older building which had some good looking bones, to the naked eye.

IMG_7690 2
8-unit building, constructed a couple years ago
IMG_7691 2
Two buildings under construction, each with 5 units

1314 N. Franklin St. is a tougher pill to swallow. As first glance, it looks like new construction, but it’s actually a rehab of another of the older homes on the block. It appears that the stone at the bottom of the building was maintained, but the brick was covered by siding and the cornice was removed and replaced. The curved entryway is also gone, eliminating another architectural connection to the history of the block.

This is a rehab
Screen Shot 2021-01-11 At 4.32.33 PM
Photo from last year

We’re no big fans of stucco, but just up the block at 1325 N. Franklin St., another developer rehabbed one of the older homes on the block using stucco on the entire facade. While this isn’t as desirable as, say, repairing and repointing all the brick on the existing building, we’re not sure that approach would be feasible financially without some government incentives. Be that as it may, the stucco still strikes us as a better approach than what we see to the south.

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 At 4.51.15 PM
1325 N. Franklin St.

What do you prefer? Do you like the stucco facade? Or do you prefer the ultra-contemporary siding?