Student housing has boomed across many sections of West Philadelphia, with tons of new buildings rising in Mantua in recent years. The construction has slowly crept northward, but it hasn't yet made its way to Ogden Street, where we will draw your gaze on this rainy afternoon. This part of Mantua is a bit of a mixed bag, with tons of vacant land and a number of blighted vacant buildings, but a decent number of intact blocks mixed in there too. There's some impressive architecture to be found in the area, but there aren't too many buildings that compare with what looks like a former mansion on the northwest corner of 41st & Ogden.
We did some basic research to try to find out more info about the building but sadly came up rather empty. The building has been sitting vacant for at least a decade, as far back as we can see on the Google Street View Time Machine. Friends Rehabilitation Program bought the property back in 2006 but seemingly hasn't done anything with it in the time since they bought it. FRP is an affordable housing and social services company, so we'd guess that they bought the building with either an eye toward renovation for the purpose of housing or perhaps as a new headquarters.
Just a block to the north is the Belmont Academy Charter School, which is located in a renovated former YMCA building. In our opinion, this building gives us a general vibe of what the renovation of the building at 41st & Ogden could look like.
Will student housing make its way this far north in our lifetimes? Will FRP put some work into it to convert the Ogden Street building into affordable housing at some point in the future? Who knows. In the meantime, if you happen to find yourself in the area, it's worth taking a trip past the property so you can see it with your own eyes.