PARC facade program finally is getting going & B2 is first up

Waaaay back in August, we told you that the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation was embarking on a facade improvement program to spruce up several buildings on the avenue. Work was supposed to commence in September.

Well, that didn’t quite happen, but at long last the first project is finally getting started at B2 at Passyunk and Dickinson. So no, the wood you may have seen over the windows at B2 did not mean the coffee shop was closed. They’re open during renovations, and it looks like it’ll be nice:

Rendering provided by Graham Bailer Architecture
Rendering and “befores” provided by Graham Bailer Architecture

The stone pieces around the windows were already installed this week and that dark cladding on the first floor, which is charred cedar, should start going up in the next week. Though you can’t tell, the site plans show that wooden awnings will jut out above the first-floor windows, which will now be able to open. It’s an improvement over the before, though the current state is hardly among the worst offenders on the Avenue.

b2 before


The Dickinson Street side
The Dickinson Street side

Sam Sherman at PARC says the hold-up could be attributed to contractor snags, scheduling issues and some owners who were having trouble coming up with their 25 percent share of the cost (the city covers $8,000 for a mid-block building for commercial corridors throughout the city, $12,000 for a corner and PARC covers the rest). Sherman also said that now only two businesses – not the original five – are scheduled for this phase because some wanted to hold off even though designs were completed.

Sermania is up next. And it could use some TLC, as seen in this picture from August.


Too bad the others that were supposed to be in this round – Mamma Maria, Avenue Cheese Shop and Today’s Styles. They could use some aesthetic help.

todays style

avenue cheese

mama maria2
To its credit, Mamma Maria has improved slightly since this photo was taken last fall. They removed that top sign and installed flower boxes underneath the second- and third-floor windows.

5 thoughts on “PARC facade program finally is getting going & B2 is first up

  • June 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    What?! That rendering of B2 is awful. It looks like somebody’s dark, dinge-y basement. I don’t understand what was so offensive about the brick. Looks far less inviting.

  • June 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Good lord B2 is going to look awful, esp. in a few years when the wood gets even darker and dirtier. Whose idea was THAT? The bricks look much nicer and cleaner (and are much more authentic to the area).

    • June 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Agreed. B2’s brock facade is beautiful as is – but will look worse with this new work reflected in the rendering. It’s immediately dated and not reflective of the character of the Ave or the surrounding neighborhood. If this is indicative of the facade overhaul for the Ave it’s not going to add any value or aesthetic improvement to the corridor.

  • June 21, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I agree – revealing the cornice is great- but I don’t unerstand the first floor treatment. Hopefully it will look better in person.

  • June 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I have to imagine Mamma Maria doesn’t qualify for money because they are woefully behind on their taxes.

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