Ever since a July 2006 fire caused it to partially collapse, the Lincoln, an apartment building in the 1200 block of Locust Street in Washington Square West that was in the process of being converted to condos when the fire struck, has sat as a boarded-up hulk and occasional vagrant magnet while feuding owners debated the building’s fate — and ultimately lost it at a Federal marshal’s sale.
A recent note in the minutes of a Washington Square West Civic Association (WSWCA) board meeting raises the prospect that the rest of the building may disappear soon as well.
At the WSWCA’s Feb. 21 board meeting, the Intergovernmental Affairs committee reported that “the Lincoln’s new owners are interviewing demolition companies and are expected to
close on financing and commencing work in the next 30 days.”
That was 61 days ago, however, which suggests that there may be some delay in either lining up financing, obtaining permits, or both. A search of permits issued by Licenses and Inspections reveals no demolition permits have yet been issued for the property at 1222-26 Locust St. The most recent permit, issued to architectural firm Cecil Baker and Partners on November 1 of last year, is a zoning/use permit approving "the sixth (6) floor addition of an existing six (6) story structure."
The Lincoln was sold at a Federal marshal's sale last summer. The current owner of record, according to the Office of Property Assessment, is Twelve22 LP, which purchased the building for $2.2 million in a transaction that closed Sept. 25.
While it would be nice if the building were rebuilt or salvaged in some way, it may well be that given how long it's been in this decrepit state, the best thing that could happen to it now is for it to be razed. Stay tuned.
Top photo: Google Street View from 2011. Archival photo: PhillyHistory.org.