A year ago, we first told you about the likelihood that the Fortieth Street ME Church, located at 125 S. 40th St. would be demolished sometime soon. The church, which was built in 1872 and designed by Sloan & Hutton, housed three different congregations over 135 years. The currently empty building was purchased in 2007 by P&A Associates, the folks who built the Murano, the St. James, and have been doing other development in Philadelphia for many years.

The church

According to a story in today’s Daily Pennsylvanian, it seems this beautiful church will, in fact, be torn down by the end of this year. Replacing it will be a one-story, ultra contemporary structure designed by CANNO Architecture + Design, a firm that designed the Artisan Townhouses on Bainbridge Street. We gave you this elevations drawing last time we checked in on this project, and today we have a rendering, thanks to the DP article.

Doesn't really tell you much

Rendering of the proposed building. Image from Daily Pennsylvanian.

In a vacuum, the design for the new building is fairly attractive and thoughtful. But in the context of the building it replaces, it’s really such a shame.

The tenants, according to the DP, will be Dunkin Donuts, Whirled Peace, and Philadelphia Chutney Company, with one more vacant space yet to be rented. This is great news, because when you have the opportunity to replace a historic (though not designated) building that adds beauty and architectural diversity to a neighborhood with a donut shop, a froyo store, and a dosa place, you really just gotta do ten times out of ten. In other news, Independence Hall will soon be replaced by the biggest McDonald’s in the country, and City Hall will be torn down and replaced by a six story parking lot. Because hey, why not?