Furness Twins Gone on Chestnut Street

Passing by the Hub buildings the other day, we happened upon a vacant lot that we weren't expecting to find. Until very recently, you'd have seen two Frank Furness designed Victorian twins at 3935 and 3937 Chestnut St., sitting in the shadow of the newer Hub building.

View in the past from Google Time Machine

The scene is quite different today.

Now it's a vacant lot

So… what gives?

Permits for the property only indicate demolition and "unity of use" with two adjacent parcels. So our first guess was that a third Hub building was in the offing, or perhaps the owners of the apartment buildings wanted to use this big lot for parking purposes.

Hub I and Hub II

Then we took a look at the ownership records for these properties. It turns out the Ronald McDonald House bought the buildings in 2014 and 2015, spending millions on the acquisition. In case you didn't know, RMHC is located immediately next door, over a collection of buildings to the east. So while it's with disappointment that we see the old buildings have been demolished, we're at least cheered to learn that the properties will be used to help sick kids and their families in the future. We're hoping for an expansion of their existing facilities and not just a parking lot though, as that would be a tougher pill to swallow.

Has anyone heard anything concrete about the plans for this property?