A recent site visit has discovered that foundation work is underway at a three-story, seven-unit development at 3836 Haverford Avenue in Mantua, West Philadelphia, though construction permits had been issued several months ago. The project, situated on the south side of the block between North 38th and North 39th streets, replaces a vacant lot nestled next to a prewar rowhouse. Designed by Haverford Square Designs, the development will span 4,800 square feet and will feature a private roof deck for one of the units. Permits list Haverford Sq GC LLC as the contractor and specify a construction cost of $400,000.
The narrow building will measure only around 14 or so feet wide yet will stretch 89 feet long, leaving space for a side alley and a nine-foot-deep rear yard. Situated on a sloped site with a roughly six-foot difference between the front and rear sections, the structure will rise 37 feet tall to the main roof on either end, with staggered floor levels accounting for the elevation difference.
3836 Haverford Avenue may alternately be said to be located in Powelton Village, a neighborhood that spans just to the north of University City; the latter may be reached via a an approximately eight-minute walk to the south (the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Drexel University are situated nearby). The route 10 trolley runs along Lancaster Avenue roughly a block to the south and west.
Despite its awkward dimensions, 3836 Haverford Avenue offers a novel solution for a particularly narrow, elongated, and sloped site, and the relatively high number of residential units it will offer at the location is a testament to the ingenuity of its planners.