In the shadow of the Divine Lorraine at Ridge & Lemon stands the dilapidated and abandoned former Ed Tomlin Quality Silk Screen Printing building. Located at 1311-13 Ridge Ave., the roof of the building has collapsed into the first floor in the rear, and the three-story structure next door is blighted as well.

View from the south

We've wondered about this building and watched it continue to rot over the past two years as we've driven up Ridge towards Broad Street, imagining all our possibilities for the Divine Lorraine.  This whole triangular parcel here nestled between Ridge, 13th and Wallace could represent a fine opportunity for a developer looking to capitalize on the current string of redevelopment that has quietly revitalized a number of blocks in the West Poplar neighborhood over the last few years. The site has been owned by Edward Tomlin since he purchased it for $32K back in 1981.

Collapsed rear

Blight next door

It's evident that the future of this building is a demolition. The question becomes whether a developer out there is willing to foot the bill right now. We think this is the year Ridge Avenue begins to see serious revitalization, in part spurred by recent and plans for continued improvements along North Broad.

Across Broad, there are plans for a lot consolidation at 16th & Ridge, which points to the likelihood of a larger multi-unit project. And right around the corner from the former silk screening place, the gorgeous Ruffins Nichols church at 11th & Mount Vernon was razed this past fall to make way for new homes. And up the street at 12th & Brandywine, there are several homes being built right now, plus a 5-unit project was recently completed.

So if Mr. Tomlin's been waiting for a prime time to sell, perhaps now the bell is harping. This looks like it could be a nice spot for a mixed-use building or maybe something even bigger and more interesting.