Demolition D-Day passes and the Queen Lane Apartments still stand

The original deadline for the demolition of the Queen Lane Apartments will come and go this week, but there’s no word on when the Germantown building will come down or when new homes will be built.

The plan to replace the 57-year-old apartment complex with new units is on hold while work continues to determine if, and how many, graves from a former Potter’s Field lie under the site.

At the most recent community meeting, Philadelphia Housing Authority officials and archaeological experts discussed potential areas where remains could be.

Demo date removed from PHA website

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This month’s community meeting, which had been scheduled for Aug. 9, was cancelled and until Tuesday afternoon, the PHA website still showed Aug. 15 as the projected demolition date for the Queen Lane building.

That, and future deadlines, were changed to “to be determined” after NewsWorks’ inquiry, but PHA officials did not provide an updated timeline.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is also expected to weigh in on the results of ground-penetrating radar studies discussed at the July community meeting, where an archaeologist said three areas showed anomalies that could be grave sites.

Plans for the replacement of the Queen Lane Apartments and the adjacent Wissahickon (Kelly) Playground have changed considerably since PHA first released them last year.

Community groups including forced the agency to alter the design to avoid building on the “Potter’s Field” area at Pulaski Avenue and West Queen Lane, which is said to have been a burial site for “strangers, Negroes and Mulattoes” in Germantown since 1755.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at

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