This storefront has all kinds of shit going for it. Near Rittenhouse Square, located in a historic piece of architecture, near tons of rich-ass motherfuckers. Even during Center City's darkest decades, this space was continuously successful. Yet for over 2 years, the spot has been sitting empty as shit. Even the "For Lease" signs are gone. What gives?
This great piece of empty retail is located at 2108 Walnut Street, one of the oldest surviving Frank Furness-designed pieces of architecture in the city. As I wrote on in the Hidden City Daily a couple of years ago, this address is part of the Rice-Warren Doublehouse, built in 1869.The old mansion this storefront is located in was once the home of the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court!
|This lookin-ass motherfucker|
|There it is all the way on the right, empty in 1927 just like it is now. PhillyHistory.org|
An antique store then held down the space until Frank Nahikian of the Davis & Nahikian home furnishings company bought 2108 Walnut. This company had been in the city since 1906, making names for themselves as some of the top rug importers around. The company's retail store then took over the space and Frank Nahikian himself took residence in one of the apartments in the upper floors. The Davis & Nihikian store stuck around at this space all the way until 1989. In an era when Center City's was at its lowest point in modern history, Davis & Nahikian was kicking ass all over the place selling wholesale carpets and rugs out of this little storefront.
|Davis & Nahikian storefront in 1960. PhillyHistory.org|
|How it looked when Total Serenity was there according to Google Streetview|
|Picture from Naked Philly showing when the space was covered in the For Lease signs. What happened to them? If there's a tenant, where the fuck are they?|
The place also offers a basement and private access from the 2100 block of Chancellor Street. This was a retail storefront that was able to hold down the same piece of retail for 43 years in a time when Center City was in massive decline! Need more? An entire row of rich people's houses are about to be built right across the street.
|"Van Pelt Mews" Sounds like my cat named them.|