Just last week, we were in the Tioga neighborhood, in the vicinity of Temple Hospital, and we noticed an interesting blighted building that ended up being a vacant old movie theater. Less than a block to the south is another distressed building that bears mentioning, a structure at 1700 W. Tioga St. originally built for the Tioga Trust Company. Today though, it’s sitting empty and looks much worse for the wear.

From a distance
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Better view (from 2016)

This place was built in two phases, according to the 2016 Tioga Goals and Strategy Report. With architecture work by William Howard Lee, the first three floors were constructed in 1912, with the upper floors getting built in 1926. We have to imagine that the Deco details on the lower floors were added along with the addition, as Deco wasn’t really a thing in the US until the 1920s and was in the height of its popularity around the time of the addition.

Closer look at the first floor

Hidden City did a story about this building a few years back, noting that the bank was out of business by 1930, the first major local bank to fall during the Depression. We have no idea what the building was used for in the following decades, though an old Loopnet listing indicates it was a hospital administration building for a time, and the Hidden City piece suggests part of the building was once a community center. Google Street View and the aforementioned Loopnet listing suggest the building has been sitting empty for at least a decade. The interior was gutted years ago, in preparation for a rehab that never happened.

But a rehab seems like it could finally happen here. New developers purchased the property about a year and a half ago, paying $420K for the shell. Earlier this year, they went to the ZBA with a plan for 45 apartments and a group practitioner on the first floor. The original plan also called for a take-out restaurant, but we’re guessing the community wasn’t on board with that aspect of the plan and so that’s been 86-ed in favor of a retail tenant to be determined at a later date.

The developers have been working through some violations in the early going, but we have to think that this building will legitimately get rehabbed in the next year or two. Whether the plans call for market rate housing or affordable housing, we don’t know or care, we’ll just be thrilled to see this great building come back into active use. We’ll keep an eye out, and be sure to provide an update once construction makes a dent.