A demolition permit has been filed for a vacant two-story prewar rowhouse at 2620 North Douglas Street in Strawberry Mansion, North Philadelphia. The former single-family dwelling stands on the west side of the block between West Huntingdon Street and West Lehigh Avenue and will be torn down as part of the City of Philadelphia Demolition Program at a cost of $14,290. The building is owned by the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Property. FH Demolition is the listed contractor.
After demolition, an erosion control mat with seed on lot will be placed at the site, stucco will be added to the future exposed walls at 2618 and 2622 North Douglas Street next door on either side, and the sidewalk in front of the property will be replaced.
The building sports a refined, tactile façade. Rusticated lintels above the apertures and above the basement add a rugged touch that contrasts with the smooth surface of narrow tapestry brick colored in warm hues of brown-orange. A course of corbelled brick, a garland frieze, and a bracketed cornice lend the parapet a sophisticated appearance. At the pinnacle corners, corbelled brick piers support projecting blocks topped with pagoda-like finials, visually separating the building from its neighbors.
The building is a part of an ensemble of similarly styled rowhouses that line both sides of the block. The demolition will leave a gap in the street wall, which is unfortunate since the composition has been preserved almost intact since its original construction.
Although the block has not seen any new residential construction in the postwar period, and neither has most of the surrounding area, the site holds potential for viable development. Fairmount Park, the city’s prime green space, sits just three short blocks to the west. The 32, 54, and 61 buses run within a few blocks. The concentric-shaped Dr. Ethel D. Allen School sits half a block to the east, and the Richard R. Wright Elementary School and the Strawberry Mansion High School are located within a five- to 10-minute walk to the southeast, poising the site as well-suited for family-oriented development.
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