2709-15 Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Photo by Jamie Meller. March 2022

Demolition Underway at Historic Columbia Theater in Cecil B. Moore, North Philadelphia

A recent site visit by Philly YIMBY has revealed that demolition has begun at the historic Columbia Theater at 2709 Cecil B. Moore Avenue in Cecil B. MooreNorth Philadelphia. The 100-year-plus-old structure, situated at the north side of the block between North 27th and Marston streets, will be replaced by a four-story, 18-unit apartment building. Designed by Kore Design Architecture (KCA), the new development will span 21,030 square feet and feature elevator service, full sprinkling and a roof deck. Permits list Bloomtown Holdings LLC as the owner, GRIT Construction as the contractor, and a construction cost of $3.16 million. The Columbia Theatre, as it was originally known, was built in 1911 in a grand Beaux-Arts style. The massive, dramatic marquee and vertical sign that once adorned its front entrance are long gone. Still present, however, is the symmetrical facade with Palladian and oeil-de-boeuf windows, a garland-adorned crown, and a dentil course cornice. Even the elegant bishop’s crook light sconces continue to grace the structure at the second level. The roughly 30-foot-tall building is at once in scale with the avenue’s rowhouses and offers a distinct sense of urbane grandeur.

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3025 John F. Kennedy Boulevard. Rendering credit: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism

Category Spotlight: Philadelphia YIMBY Looks at Upcoming Residential Buildings With 100 and More Units

Philadelphia YIMBY continues to look for ways to make our news outlet into resource both useful and enjoyable to everyone from industry professionals and casual enthusiasts of all things urban. As part of this drive, at the start of the year we introduced a new series of building categories, which allow readers to browse articles based on building unit count, square footage, and more. Today we put the spotlight on one such category: new multi-family developments with 100 and more residential units. In general, these large projects come in the form of high-rise towers, hulking mid-rise buildings, and sprawling townhouse complexes. Below we offer a sampling of several such developments that we have covered so far this year.

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One Liberty Place from the Museum of Art. Image by Russell Kord via Alamy

YIMBY Offers More Perspectives of One Liberty Place Shortly After Completion

The idea of building higher than the William Penn statue atop Philadelphia City Hall was roundly rejected by city planners and the public for a long time. Boldly, in 1983, Willard G. Rouse III of Rouse and Associates bought a large plot of land and scouted for an architect to design a pair of limit-breaking towers. In April 1984, a proposal was revealed to the city, which was met with with heavy opposition, though the decision to go ahead with the project was eventually approved via a vote. In May 1985, the official designs by Helmut Jahn were revealed at the groundbreaking, inaugurating the construction of two office towers and a hotel, which lasted from 1985 and 1990 and changed the Philadelphia skyline in the process. Although Philly YIMBY has already looked at One Liberty Place shortly after completion, today we take look at more perspectives of the iconic structure from the time when it finished construction.

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1725 North 21st Street

Construction Complete at Three-Unit Building at 1725 North 21st Street Near Temple University in Cecil B. Moore, North Philadelphia

Construction has been complete at a three-story, three-unit residential building at 1725 North 21st Street, near Temple University, in Cecil B. Moore, North Philadelphia. Designed by Casalina Design Group, Inc., the structure replaces a vacant lot on the east side of the block between Cecil B. Moore Avenue and West Montgomery Avenue. The development spans 3,480 square feet of interior space, lending an average of over 1,100 square feet per apartment, and features a cellar and two roof decks with sweeping skyline views. Permits list 2323 Cabot Street LLC as the owner and City Suburban Home Builders as the contractor. Construction costs are specified at $325,000.

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