New Mixed-Use Building Coming Soon at 11th & Pine

Antique Row is a neither an antique, nor a row. Discuss.

All joking aside, Antique Row is located roughly on the 900-1100 blocks of Pine Street, and it shows up on Philadelphia tourist maps as a commercial destination. According to a Hidden City story from ten years ago, the Antique Row moniker came about in the years following the Sesquicentennial, and there were a few dozen antique shops on this stretch at one point. The number of antique stores on Antique Row has dwindled considerably over the last couple decades, due mostly to the growth of internet shopping and perhaps somewhat due to changing tastes as well. These blocks of Pine Street remain commercial in nature, and are among the more quaint shopping blocks in Center City.

Looking east at the 1000 block of Pine Street

The 11th & Pine intersection is an interesting one, as the northwest corner was once home to the Gladstone apartment building. This edifice was torn down in 1971 and today we find Louis Kahn Park, a hardscaped public space, in its place. This park is a nice resource for the neighborhood and a fine place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the Sunday New York Times, but we still kind of wish that the old apartment building would have stuck around. Suffice to say it would have been designated historic if it had stuck around for a few more decades.

The last days of the Gladstone
Louis Kahn Park at 11th & Pine

In the foreground of the above image that shows the now-demolished Gladstone, you can make out a portion of the sign for the business that was once located at the southwest corner of this intersection. 1100 Pine St. was home to antique shops for decades, starting in the 1940s at the latest, and running through the early 2010s. Mama’s Wellness Joint occupied the building more recently, but the retail space has sat empty since the store made the move to virtual. Interestingly, the building was once three stories tall, but the top two stories were removed in the 40s, with the 2nd story getting rebuilt at some point. The building looks like it was built in two different times because that’s exactly what happened.

Existing building at the southwest corner of 11th & Pine

But the building won’t be around for much longer, as developers have bought it and are planning to tear it down and build a new mixed-use building in its place. The new building will offer retail space on the first floor, with 5 apartments upstairs. Given that the developers paid seven figures for the existing property, we wouldn’t be surprised to see these units offered as condos. Certainly, if there’s a location that could accommodate a few condo units above retail in a smaller sized building, this is it. Gnome Architects is doing the design work, and the new building is going to look pretty sweet, if you ask us. Check out those arches on the first floor!

Project rendering

It feels like this property should require Historical Commission approval before it can be redeveloped, but that’s not the case. The building itself doesn’t feel like it’s designation-worthy but perhaps the fact that the property is on a corridor that we call Antique Row makes us feel like it has more historic gravitas than it actually has. And it’s a good thing it doesn’t, as this new project will definitely represent an upgrade over the current situation, and should result in an exciting new tenant at this prominent corner.