It recently came to our attention the the Saint James Pentecostal Church at 4101 Ludlow St. is listed for sale. The property was first listed a couple months back at a $1.9M sale price, with the price going down to $1.3M a couple weeks ago then bouncing back up to $1.6M a few days later. Simply looking at the building, it's clear that it's been altered over the years- it's safe to assume it wasn't always the deep red color it is today.
The building actually has some amazing history, as it was originally built in 1846 as the home to the Monumental Baptist Church. The congregation moved to another location in the 1960s and still exists today. Their website expansively details their history, describing the congregation as on of the first African American churches in Philadelphia and noting that they were the first African American congregation with a church bell, starting in 1853. Though the building was changed considerably in the 1870s, it's still a very old structure which has retained many of its architectural features through the years. Despite being part of the historic district in the neighborhood, the building itself isn't designated as historic.
This leads us to believe it'll soon be bought and demolished. The property is sizable, with over 5,500 sqft of space, and it could accommodate a five-story residential building by right. Given its location so close to Penn's campus, we'd have to think that several student housing developers have their eye on this property and will do their thing once the price point makes sense for them. Speaking of the price point, the high price would seem to indicate that the congregation doesn't expect a buyer to preserve the building after they make the purchase.
Just across the street, developers are now in the process of building a six-unit building, a project we told you about a few months ago. You can book it that this is a sneak preview, albiet smaller, for what's to come on this intersection's northwest corner.