Photos: Rob Lybeck
South Street’s raffish days are long gone, but it’s still surprising to see the block between 13th and Broad looking a bit like South Florida lately. First there was 609 S. Clarion St’s modern design and pastel stucco-work, then 1352 Lofts, which mixed an awful lot of glass and metal with its brick, and took over a third of the sidewalk to boot.
The latest building, on the corner of South and Clarion, isn’t entirely traditional, which often spells trouble in the world of Philadelphia architecture. On the other hand, the mixed-use structure’s curved, second-story bay responds admirably to both the corner location and the curve of the adjacent building. Whatever cladding material goes on over the Tyvek will be decisive. The bar is set higher than usual here, because this project replaces two three-story, 19th century rowhomes that could have been rehabbed, one of which housed Bacchanal, a legendary bohemian/biker bar owned by artist Joe Tiberino, patriarch of Powelton’s Tiberino clan.