When we checked in on repairs to the wooden Camac Street the other day, we noticed that 1222 Locust St., the former Lincoln Apartments building, is under heavy construction. It's been over a year since our last visit to this property, at visit that was spurred by a construction fence appearing in front of the building. This was very exciting since we first heard about redevelopment plans in 2011 and the building had been sitting vacant and blighted since being devastated by a fire in 2006.
You can see, the inside of the building has been completely gutted and all the windows have been removed. It appears that some framing has happened inside, suggesting progress toward the apartments that will eventually fill the building. On a somewhat frustrating note, Camac Street is blocked off due to the construction.
The previous plan for this building included 44 apartments but the permits indicate that there will only be 42 units. No matter the unit count, the renovation is a truly welcome sight for this building which has a complex history, to say the least. According to an Inquirer article from 1986, the building was constructed as a hotel in 1892, and contained a nightclub called the Tabu Room in the 1940s. Then it was a hotel for sailors before turning into a "fleabag motel" by the 1980s. In the mid-80s, developers had plans to do a luxury condo conversion but those plans didn't move forward for decades and were permanently sunk by the fire in 2006.
Now, finally, after all these years, the building is making a comeback. We'll be thrilled when the construction wraps up and the old Lincoln looks shiny and new.
For a more thorough history of the building, click here.