The Lord is out and Dunkin’ Donuts will be in this spring at 40th & Sansom, across the street from Fresh Grocer, right near Penn’s campus. That is where the lovely stone Methodist Episcopal Church will be demolished to make way for an uber-contemporary one-story all-glass structure.

The church

And thank god it will be such a chic building. That’s the only way to sell cheap coffee, fatty donuts, plus the frozen yogurt at Whirled Peace and the pies at Zesto Pizza, the two additional businesses that will occupy the space, isn’t it? Joking aside, it is nice to see innovative architecture in many of the buildings that are coming to University City, like the $100M Singh Center, an all-glass mammoth building that was recently completed along the 3200 block of Walnut. It is a shame, though, that the cost of the new buildings so often includes sacrificing testaments to human achievements of the past.

We first realized that the church was not long for this world in the fall of 2011. It was purchased by P&A Associates for $2M in 2007. The Daily Pennsylvanian reported a couple of weeks ago that the new building is slated to be completed by April. In October 2012, P&A co-founder Peter Shaw told The DP the church would be demolished by the end of the year. But that date passed with no action.

Building rendering. Image from the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Should the new construction begin soon, it will mark another ongoing 40th Street project. Recently, we told you about Hub 3939, or Hub III, plans for a mixed-use tower at 40th & Chestnut next door to the original Hub, which has played up University City’s retail offerings with Jose Garces’ Distrito while expanding the breadth of Penn.

And now that 40th & Sansom seems like its geared to begin construction, we are wondering, when will that big warehouse that’s been advertising space for the last two years and recently received some minor improvements at 41st & Chestnut finally see some action? Anyone have any info on it?

–Lou Mancinelli