Big Addition Planned at 41st & Baltimore

The handsome building at the northeast corner of 41st & Baltimore was built in 1927, according to the University City Historical Society, designed and constructed by Samuel Silverman and originally known as Calvert Hall. The Historical Society goes on to describe the structure as an example of Renaissance Revival architecture, with “distinguishing features (that) include stone arched and pilastered entrance, cast stone lintels and sills, 6/1 sash, quoins, decorative pilasters and medallions, flat roof, decorated parapet.” The writeup also mentions that a wing of the building was removed somewhere along the line. Aside from the missing wing, the building seems to have survived the last ninety years in pretty good shape.

Existing building

Today, it’s used as a student apartment building with 45 apartments, operated by New Horizons Housing. Looking at their website, we see a few units are currently available for rent, with 1 bedroom units listed for $1,030/mo and a 2 bedroom unit available for $1,800/mo. Those prices seem a little high to us, but then again the units seem pretty well maintained and you can’t really beat the location if you’re a Penn student.

Maybe you’re wondering why we’re writing about this random building today. The answer lies in the photo above, on the right side. Yeah, it’s a zoning notice. And the project happens to be going to the ZBA today.

Parking lot will shrink considerably

The building is constructed in an L-shape, with a large parking lot next door. The owners of the property are planning to fill in a significant section of that parking lot with a new addition that will include a retail space and an additional 48 apartments. Somehow, the plan will also maintain 20 parking spaces.

We’ve seen all kinds of new construction student housing in West Philly over the last several years, with much of the architecture being less than wonderful, to be generous. With this project, the developers will be building something new and attaching it a unique structure that’s got considerable historical value, even if it’s not listed on the Historic Register. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on the progress at this project, to see how they marry the old building and the new. That is, of course, assuming that the ZBA gives their approval to the project today.