1616 Chancellor Street
Hey, Little Pete's is the shit. Don't let the stupid hipster food snobs at Yelp fool you... this is a truly classic greasy spoon-style diner where you go to punish your arteries for future crimes. A relic diner from an ancient past when there was a place like this on every block (and I mean EVERY). Some people actually expect to walk into Little Pete's and get a fair trade free range vegan kelp wrap floating in perfume served in a man's hat. Those people are called morons.
The only problem with Little Pete's is that it resides in one of the city's worst parking garages. A Castle of Crunchy Concrete that's been uglifying the neighborhood for the last six decades. Though most of it is hidden behind taller buildings, its small countenance on 17th Street is a goddamn disgrace... except for Little Pete's.
This part of 17th Street was once home to some stately-ass mansion-sized rowhouses. Though many people came and went through those houses since they were built in the 1830's, the most notable was a famous Jewish doctor, Solomon Solis-Cohen, who lived at the corner of 17th and Chancellor. This guy was a ground-breaking physician whose books and papers are still studied by medical students. He was also a Philadelphia School District teacher, professional Hebrew translator, and a professor at Jefferson and one other medical college. Basically, this motherfucker did it all.
|His epitaph reads, "Fuck y'all"|
Finally, in the 1950's, the horrible parking garage was built. The 1950's saw the construction of many of the city's worst and longest-lived parking garages-- this would be no exception. The garage itself has very little history. Its 57,000 square foot ass has been parking cars for so long that everyone seems to be accustomed to its damaging presence. The lot it sits on is zoned C-4, therefore a 500 foot skyscraper could replace this thing if anyone cared.
|You can see it on the center-right in this picture from 1959.|
|You can't see the spire from this angle, but trust me, its there.|
|Little Pete's would be eliminated.|
All that is not even the worst part about this piece of shit. The parking garage's current owners, some folks under the name Philadelphia Chancellor Limited Partnership (and with a mailing address at the Radisson Hotel in Trevose, PA) bought the place from the Equity Office Property Trust in December of 2004 for $11,433,240. Whomever this group of people/businesses is (probably something having to do with the Carlson Hotels company who own the Radisson Plaza Warwick Hotel across the street), they owe $559,337.82 in property taxes. They were on the "biggest tax cheats" list back when they owed 200 grand less. Maybe my ninja down at Philadelinquency.com can get on the case.
In short, this garage sucks radioactive monkey nuts through a kryptonite straw. Hopefully someone will come along and put this motherfucker out of its misery-- just demolish the whole thing except Little Pete's.