Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tenant Obtained for 1710 Walnut!

A sign has been placed in the window of 1710 Walnut St. by the commercial real estate firm Colliers International announcing a tenant has been obtained for the former Design Within Reach store.

Also, there seems to be more good news at 1619 Walnut where the sign advertising its availability has been removed. Perhaps, we can soon expect an announcement for a new tenant.

Update: Bad news. The sign is now back up at 1619 Walnut St.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Le Pain Quotidien Comming to Washington Square

Having recently established a presence at 1425 Walnut St., Le Pain Quotiden, the upscale-rustic Belgian boulangerie/cafe, will open its second location in center city in the former flagship store of Robins 8th & Walnut Jewelers, a block off Washington Square. Occupancy is on track for this summer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

1201 Chestnut St. to be Converted

The 1902 Beaux Arts Commonwealth Title and Trust Company Building is being converted into a 98 unit apartment complex, which will be targeted toward young professionals as well as students attending Jefferson University and other nearby educational institutions. Additionally, the planned conversion will carefully restore the 15 story brick exterior and establish a commercial/retail space on the 1st floor. The new complex is to be called "The Commonwealth" and is scheduled to be completed by July.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fight to Save the Church of the Assumption

Amidst car washes, gas stations and parking lots stands the forgotten edifice of the Church of the Assumption. A nostalgic relic of Philadelphia's past when spires and domes towered over the low expanse of row houses and mansions, which dominated nineteenth century Spring Garden. Presently, this majestic neo-gothic structure is being threatened with demolition by its owner, Siloam Wellness. The non-profit AIDS/HIV organization is intending to raze the structure on the grounds for financial hardship and as of September 10, 2010 the Historical Commission has granted Siloam a permit for demolition. However, the Callowhill Neighborhood Association with the support of the preservation community has appealed the demolition permission to the Licenses and Inspection review board who will ultimately provide a ruling on March 28.
The Church of the Assumption was erected in 1848-1849 and is considered to be a prolific example of American ecclesiastical architecture . It was designed and built by noted architect, Patrick Charles Keely (1816-1896) who had built over 600 churches during his career. Assumption Church is the oldest extant Keely structure in the country and subsequently possesses great architectural and historical significance. In addition, John Neumann helped consecrate the church and Katherine Drexel was baptized there. Both became Catholic saints.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Welcome to Brick Canyon Philadelphia

I am excited to get the ball rolling on my new blog dedicated to architecture, historic preservation, urban planning, and real estate in Philadelphia. Over the last several years, I have wanted to express my fervent passion, curiosity and knowledge  for this great city. However, I had continuously and perhaps slovenly relied on the numerous forums, blogs and online journals, which have come and gone like the plethora of architectural styles which have graced this amalgamated city for the past three hundred years. So, here is my cautious attempt to establish a new and bold media platform, which will hopefully surpass its paltry beginnings and eventually serve the city to which it surveys.