A Block of 45th Street in Transition

Close to the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Sciences, and across from Clark Park lies a block in the middle of a strange transition, seemingly led by one property owner. We last covered construction on the 1200 block of S 45th Street back in 2012 when a building on the end of the block was finishing construction. Most of the new construction buildings on the street look fairly similar to each other. They're rather boiler plate new construction, and they wouldn't necessarily stick out in another neighborhood in Philly. Juxtaposed against the old existing two story homes though, the new construction looks a little unfortunate.

The new buildings are obviously built to take full advantage of the zoning of the property

Back in 1951

The majority of the properties in this line of houses are owned by John Cassidy. He's accumulated properties on this block over the years, with purchases dating back to the early 1990s. On several parcels, he's built three story buildings, mostly duplexes, ostensibly for student housing. Here's the view back in 2007 when the block had a quite a few vacant lots.

A block with missing teeth back in 2007

Now, at 1218 and 1220 S 45th St., it seems the developer has torn down some of the older buildings and will be replacing them with the new structures.

Demolished and waiting for new construction

It's hard to know the condition of the buildings that were torn down here. It's possible that they were in rough shape and it warranted a tear down but we're thinking that it must be more profitable in the long run to demolish the unrenovated old buildings and build the larger structures for the local student population. We'd guess that the owner will eventually do the same with the rest of the properties he owns on the block that aren't already rebuilt. Sadly, it seems that the architectural character on this block will continue to diminish in years to come.