Plans Presented for the “Divine Lorraine of South Philadelphia”

Last night’s meeting revealed a future of rentals and townhomes for Mt. Sinai Hospital.

mt sinai renderings

Rendering by Barton Partners Architects of the plans for Mt. Sinai. Via Pennsporter.

It’s early days for the renovation of Mt. Sinai Hospital, which has been vacant since it closed in 1997. Last year, Grojlart called the abandoned building “the Divine Lorraine of South Philadelphia,” and “a big, useless mountain of bricks collecting dirt, graffiti, weather, and squatters.” Since 2006, a couple developers have tried their hands at pitching ideas for the site, and indeed Barton Partners, the architects of the most recent plans, still have the old plans for the Sophia on their website.

At last night’s public meeting at Mount Moriah Temple Baptist Church, Barton and new developer Gagar Lakhmna provided several details of the latest plan, but those are likely to change depending on community response and zoning variances and Lakhmna’s ability to move things forward; he’s not without some credibility issues.

But here’s what is pitched so far:
- 38 new four-story townhomes, approximately 2,2oo square feet, with roof decks, basements and garages, priced between $400-450K
- 198 rentals
- 137 parking spaces
Like the Sophia project, this one also plans an adaptive reuse of part of the hospital.
In terms of the community reaction, Pennsporter reports,
For many in attendance, parking was the main concern due to the size of this project…People in attendance also lamented the “cookie cutter” design likening it to those seen in Northern Liberties, something that will surely come up in the proposal to the Civic Design Review on January 7th.
Also likely to come up: Lakhmna’s plan for a restaurant on Fourth Street. He says he’s in talks with someone “who may or may not be Jose Garces.”

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  • Henry Sklaver

    So the local “Oscar the Grouches” think this proposal is less esthetically pleasing than the garbage dump they have been inhabiting. Uneffingbeleivable.!

    • connie d.

      i’m not from the area, but just because you’re looking at a dump, doesn’t mean it would be ok if someone built a prettier dump with flowers around it. if they are going to make an investment, it should be aestically pleasing. that’s what makes living around big box buildings like those possible. It’s cheaper for a developer to make a plain building. that’s why they always try and get away with it first. stay strong “Oscar the Grouches!” it’s citizens like you who make our city more livable!

      • Henry Sklaver

        I grew up in that area. It;s been going downhill for the last 50 years and has nowhere to go but up. Incidentally, the proposed development is infinitely more esthetically pleasing than the garbage that PHA built all around there recently.