Demolition notices posted at 19th and Chestnut streets are a sign of development to come: Pearl Properties is moving forward with its plans to build a residential tower at the corner of 19th and Chestnut streets. It also appears Pearl’s plans portend partial demolition for much of the historic Boyd Theatre at 1910 Chestnut.
This time last year the Historical Commission granted a hardship for the Boyd, and approved demolition of everything but the petite headhouse on Chestnut. That decision paved the way for a development group led by Neal Rodin to clear the site to build a multi-screen boutique movie house in its stead, using the historic façade as architectural ornament for the new theaters built behind. By the end of last year plans had changed, and the Boyd remained on Chestnut on seemingly borrowed time.
Pearl Properties bought the Boyd for $4.5 million in October 2014. We don’t yet know what Pearl proposes for the Boyd site, but it is almost certainly tied to the company’s plans to build at the southwest corner of 19th and Chestnut streets.
PlanPhilly is now a project of WHYY/NewsWorks. It began in 2006 as an initiative of Penn Praxis inside the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Though now part of WHYY, Plan Philly still works closely with Penn Praxis in covering planning, zoning and development news.