National Products Building Goes Residential, Keeps Historic Orange-Tiled Façade
- Oct 23, 2014
After several redevelopment attempts that failed throughout the years since 2003, a group of developers plans to transform the block of six buildings located in Philadelphia’s historic Old City neighborhood between 2nd and Arch Street and within walking distance from one of the nation’s oldest blocks, Elfreth’s Alley.
The former National Products building—or simply The National—is known for its modern-style orange-tiled façade along N 2nd Street which was listed on the Register of Historic Places by the Philadelphia Historical Commission in 2002, while the building itself was designated as architecturally and culturally significant for the Old City Historic District one year later. The low-rise was completed in 1957 under conceptual plans by Sabatino & Fishman Architects and served as a food service equipment store until the 1990s, when it remained vacant.
As reported by PlanPlilly in a recent news story, the development group known as National Patriot LLC acquired the National Products building in 2012 for nearly $6.5 million. National Patriot got the green light from the city’s Planning Commission for a mixed-use apartment project that would replace the
dilapidated property but will maintain its distinct orange façade. Since the orange tile walls are in poor condition, the developers plan to dismantle the façade and then reconstruct the orange wall by using much of the salvaged tiles as well as adding new pieces.
According to project plans designed by Barton Architects, the old structures behind the orange tile wall will be demolished and replaced with a six-story residential building with public façades along N 2nd Street, Flagpole Park and Arch Street. The new structure will include around 180 apartments—significantly more than the 123-apartment proposal that was advanced by Havertown-based National East Associates in 2012.
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Renderings courtesy of Barton Architects via PlanPhilly