Spotted in Kensington: Two Historic Bank Buildings to Be Redeveloped

The blighted banks have a future.

Jewelers’ Row may be one of the last surviving niche districts in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean all remnants of previous ones have been erased. Case in point, two structures which rose out of Kensington’s once-thriving textile district — the Ninth National Bank and Industrial Title and Savings Trust Co. buildings — are now in the redevelopment pipeline.

Philadelinquency reports the properties located at 1942-58 N. Front Street had been facing demolition at one point, with the Women’s Community Revitalization Project planning to replace the buildings with low-income housing. However, neighborhood objections to the project’s design resulted in a legal battle that stalled the proposed development, which was eventually scrapped. Instead, here’s what will happen with the site:

Onion Flats, a development group on West Norris St. that has had extensive experience with historic redevelopment projects in the area will restore and redevelop the bank buildings.

According to Hidden City’s Peter Woodall, both buildings were shuttered in the late 1970s and went on to fall into deterioration that, two years ago, had deemed them too costly for restoration by WCRP Executive Director Nora Lichtash. Both structures are part of the Kensington Textile National Historic District. Woodall’s photos of the building interiors can be found here.

Photo used with permission from Peter Woodall, Hidden City Daily.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION WIN: Front & Norris Banks To Be Taken Over, Redeveloped By Onion Flats [Philadelinquency]