The restoration of these buildings in southwest Philadelphia and their conversion from 36 apartments to 80 units of affordable housing for families and seniors seems an impossible feat in view of their previous deteriorated condition. Citizen groups such as the Tenant Action Group and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) worked with elected officials for 5 years to get this housing built. The City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority acquired the land and worked with other city agencies to identify a qualified development team. Tax credits for historic restoration, which fortunately were still available in the 1980s, made the development feasible.
The imposing three-story buildings now look as luxurious as they did in 1910 thanks to present-day restoration techniques that used cast stone column replacements and fiberglass cornices, among other methods. Common rear courtyards and a laundry are shared by the families, while intercom-controlled entries off the front porches serve six units each. The broad porches and graceful stoops create dignified homes for working families and send a signal of positive change through the neighborhood.