A recent site visit by Philly YIMBY has discovered that renovation work is underway at 106 South 42nd Street in Walnut Hill, West Philadelphia. The development is situated on the west side of the block between Chestnut and Sansom streets. Designed by HDO Architecture, the project will involve renovations interior renovations to a prewar rowhouse and construction of a rear addition, which will expand the 3,406-square-foot building to 6,112 square feet and nine apartments. Permits list Zhu Fengjun as the contractor and a construction cost of $526,050.
The existing building measures around 63 feet long, set back from the street by an eight-foot-deep front yard and a seven-foot-deep porch. The new rear extension will take up most of the existing rear yard, stretching nearly 41 feet long and leaving space for a ten-foot-wide backyard. At the time of our visit, we found that the rear extension, which is barely visible from the street, appears complete, and work is currently underway at the interior.
We applaud the development team for preserving the attractive Victorian rowhouse and making the rear extension minimally intrusive from the street perspective. However, the intrusion at the backyard is sure to be felt by the neighbors to either side and to the rear. Although we are happy with the development, we do wish that the addition rose a floor or so higher and/or partially above the rear of the existing structure. This arrangement would have made sure that the addition is still mostly invisible from the street while preserving more open space, as well as light and air, at the block interior.