On May 8, 2015 we wrote: "...when analyzed,
the scheme that Penn & the developer showed to the Spruce Hill
Zoning Committee offers little in the way of preservation. The house
itself would be a shell, reoriented to face Pine Street; it would have
been shadowed and obscured by an apartment building that choked it."
These assertions deserve further explanation. The scheme consists
of just two documents. The first is a perspective rendering, and
the second is the site and floor plan.
A review of both shows that the house will no longer front on 40th Street. All of the tenants will enter the property and the buildings through entrances that face Pine Street. Creating a grand entrance on Pine Street is a major misrepresentation of the historic record and can not be considered good preservation. Nor would it contribute to the plans for 40th Street and the trolley portal.
Rendering of smaller "abandoned project" shown Spruce Hill Community Association (www.Westphillylocal.com)
the mansion face Pine Street is falsifying
history, not restoration. Even so, the project illustrated above was better than actual plan offered (see proposed plan below). For example, in the rendering the apartment building's entrance is set back and faces 40th Street. Also note its first floor appears to be lower than the house's and overall height correspondingly
'restoration' plan to actual historic view (c.1900). The
Pine Street doorway is clearly a side entrance. Also note the
first floor front windows are taller than the second floor windows.
from scan of King's Philadelphia an Philadelphians at Places in time website
|Present view from 40th Street trolley portal. Historic house visible to all.
||View of mansion if apartment building was built as shown in plans.