A zoning permit has been filed for the demolition of a three-story mixed-use prewar structure at 2301 Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, Kensington. The building stands at the eastern corner of the intersection of Frankford Avenue and East Dauphin Street. 2301 Frankford Avenue LLC is the listed owner.
Located at the northern end of Fishtown, near the junction of the neighborhoods of East Kensington to the north and west and Olde Richmond to the east, the building features a retail space at the ground level, previously home to the Bobby’s Happy Hour pub, with apartment space above.
The building appears reasonably well-maintained, with few visible signs of deterioration. The structure sports façade of red brick, with cornices above the first and third floors. Responding to the obtuse angle of the intersection, the mostly rectangular (aside from a slight chamfer at the corner) structure shifts away from the sidewalk along East Dauphin Street, creating a wedge-shaped open space.
The building is attractive but not particularly notable neither from a historical nor architectural perspective. However, it plays a valuable role as a bookend of a lively, block-long shopping corridor consisting of two- to three-story prewar buildings with ground-floor retail and apartments on the floors above. The chamfered corner entrance is a classic urban feature in both in Philadelphia and other rowhouse-dominated cities.
For this reason, the building’s pending destruction is unfortunate, especially since the stretch of the street has already lost a number of similar buildings over the years. On the positive side, the demolition will likely be followed by a new building proposal in the coming weeks. A permit for a three-story development at the site was submitted in November 2018, though it is not known whether the proposal is still on the drawing board.
The surrounding area has seen a number of new developments in recent years, and we hope to see a new proposal announced at the site in the near future.
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