The 1800 block of W. Thompson St. is a mixed bag of long-time residents, newer residents, affordable housing units, and a smattering of Temple students and young professionals. This makes a whole lot of sense, as it sits about a block north of Francisville and somewhat close to Temple's campus. But it's far enough away from both that it hasn't really seen the gentrification and redevelopment that have been so prominent in both areas. What it does have, though, is a row of eight homes that are quite unique, architecturally.
You can see, at least one of the homes in this row, 1835 W. Thompson St., has been lost to history. But the other homes have retained a number of architectural details, the likes of which you don't often see around town. On each home, underneath each window on the second and third floor, there's a 3×4 checkerboard pattern which is echoed on the gabled section up above. The homes also have strips of black bricks interrupting the mostly red brick facades, creating a racing stripe effect. Interestingly, the homes don't include any cornices to speak of, which is something you wouldn't expect for such impressive homes.
A couple of these homes have changed hands in the last few years, with one new owner trying and failing to convert one of them into a duplex. Even though the homes aren't, from what we can tell, protected as historic, it seems likely that they'll be sticking around for years to come as an example to modern day architects about how things were done back in the day. It's probably unrealistic to hope for new construction to match these homes in terms of details or general awesomeness, but perhaps some developer might draw some inspiration and at least try to echo these homes in a more contemporary project? Or… maybe not.