Committee approves designs for new building next to Boyd Theater

The Philadelphia Historical Commission’s architecture committee voted on Tuesday to approve plans for a new commercial building on the 1900 block of Chestnut Street in Center City, in between the former Boyd Theater and a historic Art Deco building on the corner of 19th and Chestnut, designed by Raymond Pace Alexander.

The plans call for a 21,000 square foot commercial space on the site, which will reportedly be occupied by a TargetExpress retail outlet.

The architects, Eimer Design, reoriented some aspects of the building in response to previous comments from the architecture committee and the full Historical Commission. The roof line and the windows, for example, have been repositioned to match the pattern of the Alexander building next door.

The building will also have a green roof and, at the Planning Commission’s request, an accent light on the third story. Committee member John Cluver was dubious about the benefits of the accent light, and recommended that the developers review it with a critical eye after it’s installed.

The Boyd Theater, just west of the property in question, is currently undergoing demolition. The architecture committee had previously rejected a proposal to build an apartment tower at the site of the Boyd. The Historical Commission approved a hardship application for the Boyd last year, making way for its demolition. The developers, Pearl Properties, will need to get a new design for the property approved by the Historical Commission. The group will maintain and restore the theater’s historic facade.

Tuesday’s vote sends a positive recommendation for the adjacent property to the full Commission, which will consider the proposal at its next meeting, on Friday, August 14th, at 9 a.m.

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