Passing through West Philly the other day, we noticed some new construction on the 3800 block of Hamilton. The new building at 3810 Hamilton St., recently framed, sticks out from a distance as it rises above its neighbor.

View from the corner of 38th & Hamilton

Looking at the project, we assumed that the new structure was replacing a vacant lot or perhaps a blighted building. But we were wrong. About five years ago, the property was listed for sale as a four-bedroom single-family home and it was apparently in pretty good shape. According to the listing, the property had undergone some renovation but maintained some original architectural details as well. Looking at an old photo, it looks like it was a twin with the home next door.

In the past

Closer look today

Developers purchased the property about a year ago, paying $350K. Their new building will contain five apartments which we would guess will target students, like just about all the new construction in this area. We'd have to imagine that there are other examples of functional homes getting demoed in favor of student housing in this neighborhood, but it's the first example we've covered. Also it goes without saying that the new building isn't trying too hard to fit in with the surrounding architecture.

Speaking of not fitting in with the surrounding architecture, there's another building under construction on this block at 3827 Hamilton St., a former vacant lot. Developers are now in the home stretch, building a triplex.

Current view of 3827 Hamilton St.

We actually covered this property a couple years back when construction had just started and a very windy night blew over the partially framed building. This explains, in part, why it's taken two years to really get the project moving.

Building blew over in 2014

The building makes no effort to resemble the surrounding West Philly architecture, but at least it has a distinctly contemporary look. So much other new construction in this area looks like a "Graduate Hospital Special," with brick veneers and stucco bays, and this is actually a step in the right direction in our estimation. What do you think?