Phew! Trumbauer’s Keswick Avenue Buildings Part of Bigger Plan

The buildings were designed in 1929 and will play a major role in revitalizing Glenside.

Unlike this rather depressing map of demo’d Frank Furness buildings of yesteryear, it looks like the work of another legendary Philadelphia architect, Horace Trumbauer, will have a future in the re-imaging of Keswick Village in Glenside. The Inquirer reports that residents were concerned that Trumbauer’s handsome Tudor-style buildings would be torn down after Keswick Commons–a retail, apartment and parking complex on either side of the Keswick Theatre in Keswick Village (stay with us, now)–was sold to developer Franklin Residential for $6.2 million in January. Now that they know Franklin’s plans will incorporate the buildings dating back to 1929, residents are exciting to see the strip come back to life.

The Keswick Theatre (also designed by Traumbauer) has long been an anchor in Glendside and the idea is to surround the venue with a livelier atmosphere that can attract people whether there is a show or not. Franklin Residential, a partnership between Steven Balin, Justin Turner and Steve Wennik, has already announced three new restaurants and plans to renovate each of the 26 apartments located above the shops as they become vacant. Turns out, there’s a demand for places near walkable business districts in Center City and the ‘burbs.

Balin was quoted in January as saying, “We’re not coming in to change Keswick Village but to be part of something to make it better.” Initial phases included the rebranding of this portion of Keswick Village into Keswick Commons and $2 million in renovations to the interior and exterior of the Trumbauer Tudors.

The second phase, still in need of local approval, calls for the construction of an adult living community (ages 60-85) over a multi-story parking garage. It would cost in the range of $14 million and looks to be a couple of years down the road.

Representatives for Franklin Residential could not be reached for direct comment on this story.

• Trumbauer buildings to anchor upgrade of Glenside’s Keswick Village [The Inquirer]