Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fill This Front: Stereo City

1410 Chestnut Street

                What the fuck is going on here? After a year or so of emptiness, this storefront was announced to be filled with a new occupant--- then, nothing happened. Therefore, I think its time we bring this motherfucker back to all of our attentions. Maybe this will light a fire under the asses of the dudes who say their gonna move in here.
                 This storefront is ancient as fuck. Its a 1924 alteration of a 1830/50s row-mansion. The first user of this retail space was Llewellyn's Drug Store, which started here in the mid-19th Century and lasted all the way up to 1917 before moving to 1518 Chestnut.

The interior in 1898. The outside just looked like a dirty rowhouse with a display window on it. Image form the PAB
           After Llewellyn's moved out, a bank was proposed for the space and a design was even drawn by the badass architect Edgar V. Seeler, but it was never built. After that, the A.H. Geuting Company Store moved in, selling shoes and establishing the place as a shoe store. The new facade design was by David Bassett.
           I say Geuting's established this place as a shoe store because after they moved out, a whole series of shoe stores came in and out of this place for the next 6 decades. I don't know the names of all of them but some included French Shriner Shoes, Commonwealth Shoes, and Bostonian Shoes.

As Bostonian Shoes in 1982 rocking a 1967 sign by David Cutler. Tron!! Image from the PAB
                In more recent years, the space became a comic book store called Out of Time and then, in about 2009, became Stereo City, which was neither a City nor in Stereo.

Nice sign. 2009 view from the Google Streetview Time Machine
                The place went back up for lease in January of 2013 and by January 2014, it was announced that this location would be the Center City outpost of Brewerytown's Shifty's Taco. One of my old fraternity brothers was named Shifty.
Last known photo of Shifty, 1999.
                     Ok, so it's gonna be a Shifty's Taco. Where the fuck is it? That metal gate hasn't moved in nearly 2 years! Sure, the announcement stated not to expect the place in "the next six months", so I held out until this, the ninth month, to write this shit. C'mon Shifty, what are you waiting for?
                    This is a 1,500 square foot space on the 1400 block of Chestnut Street, which not only has nearly endless buttloads of foot traffic, but is about to have a big-ass luxury double-hotel be built across the street. No less than four bus lines pass it on Chestnut Street alone, while its proximity to Broad Street gives it access to a whole other bunch of bus lines. It's near the transit nexus under City Hall, where both SEPTA subways and all the subway-surface trolley lines converge. Its also right near the brand-spanking new Dilworth Park. Lots and lots of monied citizens both live and work (or both) nearby. You could sell soiled celebrity underwear here and strike it rich!
               The place is managed by Sierra U.S. Commercial Real Estate. If Shifty's never happens, I'm depending on y'all to FILL THIS FRONT!!!

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