04/21: Engine 46


As part of a class on Historic Preservation Economics, I am part of a team looking at the 1894 Engine 46 Firehouse, a steakhouse in its latest life up until 2006 when the proprietor allegedly ran into gambling trouble and forfeited all his assets (most of the restaurant). The Southwark Historical Society has a nice essay on its significance. The building has an attached addition, looking like a 1990s take on strip mall or public school architecture, which last held a Gamestop retail store. We have been tasked with creating a feasibility study to see what can be done with the structure and how any plans for renovation would be financed. The structure itself has been given ‘demolition permission‘ but the owner, Cedar Reality Trust, is looking into tenants to take over the lease on the property. Hidden City Philadelphia¬†reported back last August that the deal made with Checkers (restaurant) fell through, and with it the reason to demolish the firehouse. The Pennsport Civic Association has been a force against demolition of the firehouse, and their cause has the sympathetic ear of City Councilmember Mark Squilla.

As far as I know, Cedar Reality Trust is looking into getting a new restaurant to take over the lease, possibly a Buffalo Wild Wings to service customers of the adjacent United Artists Multiplex.

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