Ever wonder why that empty lot across from Pat’s and Geno’s has been vacant for all these years? There is more to it than you’d imagine, says City Paper’s Naked City blog, which highlighted the lot last week as its Philaphilia Empty Lot of the Week.
The story begins in 1864 when the First Presbyterian Church and its school opened there. Fast forward all the way through a renaming to St. John Nepomucene Church in 1907 and then to the mid-80s, when the church was abandoned. Enter South Philly native Joseph Gatta Jr. comes in.