A year after evictions, punk venue “Fake House” demolished to make way for housing development

Posted on 12 December 2013


The remnants of the “Fake House” which was demolished last month to make room for a new apartment building. Photo: Mike Lyons/West Philly Local.


Last month, a graffiti-covered building at 3862 Lancaster Avenue was demolished to make way for a three-story, 22-unit apartment building to be developed by Turn Key Realty LLC, according to city records. The building sat vacant after its residents were evicted last December.

The building was formerly a venue and makeshift apartment for artists called the “Fake House.” It was first occupied by a group of artists in the late ‘80s, according to an article by Philadelphia Weekly, and had occupants and musical performances up until the evictions.

The building was known as Fake House because the word “Fake” was painted in large letters on the front of the building. Much of the graffiti on the building enforced its counter-culture reputation, as there were strong anti-gentrification and anti-corporate messages.

The occupants never signed a formal lease, and as one resident admitted to Philadelphia Weekly almost a decade ago, “We know we’re all this close to losing our space. Anything could change at any time.”

He was right, of course. But the fascinating and somewhat subversive alt/punk hub still got another decade under its belt. The final punk show took place just a week before the evictions.

-Alex Vuocolo

6 Comments For This Post

  1. thesestreets Says:

    A lot of great memories of this place. For about 4 years in a row my roommates and I threw huge dance parties there. Great place, great people. It’ll be missed.

  2. stp Says:

    An LLC is not a corporation, so it might be better to say “there were strong anti-gentrification and anti-capitalist messages”

  3. Scott Says:

    Might want to check your facts before making know it all comments. An LLC is a limited liability *corporation*.

  4. stp Says:
    “A business ownership structure that shields its owners’ personal assets through the doctrine of limited liability (like a corporation) but has pass-through taxation (like a partnership), where profits (or losses) are passed through to the owners and taxed on their personal income tax returns.”
    “A limited liability company (LLC) is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions”

  5. Isis007 Says:

    Sorry, but I fail to see how anti-corporate graffiti messages relate to the tax status of the new owners. It is my understanding that the “anti-establishment” graff had been there long before the building was sold.

  6. Greg Avakian Says:

    Agreed; I was in a play there once. Great times, great space, great people. I wouldn’t exactly call it a “cultural icon of West Philly”, but I don’t consider more apartments an improvement.

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