In October 2020, Philly YIMBY reported on permits that were filed for demolition of a vacant two-story single-family rowhouse at 1735 Seybert Street in Cecil B. Moore, Lower North Philadelphia. Our recent site visit has revealed that demo work has since been completed, and an attractive wood plank fence now encloses the vacant lot. The work was performed as part of the City of Philadelphia demolition program. Permits listed Francis Henriquez of FH Demolition as the contractor and a work cost of $13,995.
The scope of work included addition of stucco on exposed lot walls of adjacent rowhouses, removal of a party wall at 1737 Seybert Street, and subsequent sheathing and insulation of the structure. No sidewalk work was provided.
In general, Philly YIMBY tends to stand against demolition of prewar rowhouses, particularly if the replacement offers only a marginal increase in density (or, worse yet, if it offers no density boost altogether), and/or if the structure to be demolished is particularly attractive. Fortunately, the opposite was the case at the site at hand, as the rowhouse was a particularly unappealing eyesore, where only an ornate, if dilapidated, bracketed cornice offered any architectural interest. The structure sat on a low base with a two-step front stoop and its facade, which apparently was originally clad in brick, was covered in completely featureless gray stucco. At the time of demolition, the building’s entrance and windows were boarded up with plywood. Even if no replacement is imminent at the moment, we are sure the neighbors are glad to be rid of the nuisance.
Although no construction plans have yet been announced for the site, we would be surprised if the property sat vacant for long. The site sits at the southern end of the Cecil B. Moore area, on the southern fringe of the rapidly developing area around Temple University and near the red-hot, in terms of real estate, neighborhood of Francisville, which is situated just to the south. The Girard Station on the Broad Street line, which offers a five-minute commute to Center City, is located within a nine-minute walk to the southeast, and the route 15 trolley is even more proximately situated on Girard Avenue within a four-minute walk to the south.