Averting Demolition, First African Baptist Church Properties To Become Condos


Rendering of condo unit inside the former sanctuary space of the First African Baptist Church in Graduate Hospital | S2 Designs

Sample design of a condo unit inside the former sanctuary space of the First African Baptist Church in Graduate Hospital | Rendering: S2 Designs

  • Naked Philly shares S2 Design’s renderings of the condominium-conversion of the First African Baptist Church at 16th and Christian, which only last year had been slated for demolition by its previous owner. The former rectory on Christian Street will have its brownstone façade restored and its interior converted into a single-family home. The church itself will be rededicated as a 100-child daycare center, with 2 condo units filling its sanctuary space. Finally—and the one component of the plan that received some community pushback during the design’s presentation to SOSNA this week—the existing parking lot on Montrose Street would give way to a five story building of eight  condominiums.
  • Curbed Philly reports that, as of this week, Southstar Lofts, Carl Dranoff’s 85-unit luxury apartment building that opened in May 2014 at South & Broad Streets, is now compliant with the Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program. Designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder, the $350,000 “LightPlay” installation is comprised of structures mounted along each story of the façade that, by direct sunlight or solar-powered LED light, casts a prism of color across the structure and street.
  • Philadelphia magazine’s Sandy Smith shares photos of the Chinese Cultural and Community Center at 125 North 10th Street, taken during an open house Wednesday evening meant to gauge the level of interest in purchasing the 185-year-old Chinatown landmark. In the last three months the firm Scioli Turco, a nonprofit conservator of “last resort” for blighted properties, has stabilized the building and prepped it for further reconstruction (another contractor supposedly having been overly zealous in gutting its interior two years ago).
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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