Fire-gutted building at 46th and Spruce gets new windows, but no sign of renovation

Posted on 17 June 2014


The former Transition To Independent Living Center building at the corner of S. 46th and Spruce streets. (photo West Philly Local)

Since being gutted in a fire three years ago, the former Transition to Independent Living Center at 4534-36 Spruce Street has become an eyesore for the community. Despite local street artists turning it into an open canvas, no signs of demolition or renovation have occurred at the derelict corner building—at least, not until recently.

According to neighbor reports, the owners of 4534-36 Spruce Street recently replaced the building’s windows after the city slapped them with a blight violation. One West Philly Local reader even reported that workers she spoke with at the site confirmed they were installing new windows because “the owner had been collecting fines from the city as a result of the boarded-up windows” and that they are planning to renovate the building—although no one knows why or for what.


The north facing wall of the building is covered with street art.

“The property is now a blight on the neighborhood, collecting graffiti and a truly amazing collection of discarded chewing gum,” the reader, known as Mary, wrote in a comment on our site. “It’s been years since the fire and they have had sufficient time to settle any insurance issues and make a decision about the building’s future.”

As West Philly Local reported late last year, a search of the Department of Licenses and Inspection database shows that the owners were issued with both window and license violations on October 3, 2013, and were ordered to secure windows with “windows that have frames and glazing.” (The original violation, which was sent to court, was updated on January 16, 2014 to reflect the owners compliance with property license requirements). On May 29, the owners were cited with another two blight violations, one for the vacant property and one for the windows it recently replaced—that case remains open.

West Philly Local reached out to the owners, but they did not return our request for comment. We’ll keep you updated when we receive new information.

Annamarya Scaccia

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Will Says:

    So much happening over there (the beautiful park at 50th, the garden at The Terrace, the renovation of the apartment building at 48th, etc), I wonder what is happening with this building?

  2. Paul Says:

    I reported this building on the Philly 311 app in October and that’s when they were cited. I am very happy with the Philly 311 app. If you don’t have it you need it. I have had so many good responses with the app. They continued to follow up on the open case and I get notifications through the app.

  3. bilbobaggins Says:

    The SHCA recently sent out an email with the following information:

    “Spruce Hill has been approached about development of a new structure at the site of the former TIL building at 46th and Spruce Street, S-E side.

    Spruce Hill’s zoning committee will meet on Monday, June 30th at 6:30pm at the Spruce Hill center, 257 S. 45th Street, with the current site developer and architect to hear plans and view preliminary drawings.

    The purpose of the meeting is to inform members of the proposed project and to solicit community response. All interested neighbors and residents are invited to attend.”

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