Thursday, June 30, 2011

Empty Lot of the Week-- June 30th

Fergie Forever Lot

Halfway between 12th and 13th reaching from Walnut to Sansom

Ah crap, it's bigger than ever!
                     This lot has been pissing me off for years. A perfectly good Center City location and nothing can get itself started here. The only thing going for this lot is that Fergie's is in it. It also serves as a little pass-through from Walnut to Sansom in case your lazy ass doesn't want to walk all the way to the crosswalk.
                   You might remember when I got excited about this lot possibly being covered with the Fergie Tower, but right now it looks extremely unlikely. The building on the eastern side of the lot was being demolished so it was assumed that the Fergie Tower might begin construction, but instead they just paved the fuck over it and made it part of this stinking piece of shit. Hopefully, the asphalt is just a placeholder until the Tower takes it down once and for all.
                   From what I can tell, the Fergie's building at 1214 Sansom Street is at LEAST 153 years old. It appears in the Hexamer & Locher map from 1858:

Shit, there it is!
                  According to the legend of the map, the Fergie's structure is a two-story brick store, low-level factory, or private stable. The map shows an unnamed alley that ran behind the buildings facing George (Sansom) and Walnut that has a couple of tiny two-storey brick houses. The Walnut Street side had humongous  3-1/2 Storey mansion-rowhomes. The three mansions on top of them in this map still live on, cut up into apartments with added-on storefronts.
                 Later maps show the properties facing Walnut extending all the way back to Sansom. The western-most property (at the top of the lot in the map above) was already an empty lot by 1942. The corner of 12th and Walnut became a larger lot, but that ended up getting covered by that big ugly parking garage that's there now. Here's a pic of the row of buildings that once occupied the Fergie Forever Lot from waaaay down the street:

1950. All that shit is gone now.
                      What a despicable lot. The developer for the Fergie Tower is U3, or are they called U cubed? U to the third power? Anyway, they're the only hope I have for this lot. There seems to be a new rendering for the Walnut Street frontage of the Fergie Tower, so maybe I'm completely wrong in thinking that it's not happening. I'm going to have to place it into the "extremely fucking unlikely but possible" category. The development seems to be held back by the economy, a height variance for the last 26 feet (even though the Chancellor a block away is the same height), and the design's lack of parking (never mind the seven storey parking garage next door).

From the U3 website. Why did they split the picture up into nine sections? That's just silly.
                 Colored panels everywhere? Get real. Oh well, I guess I can't complain. I'd rather have the ugliest instantly-dated plasticky-looking building in creation than the lot that's there now. Fuckbuckets.

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