PlanPhilly

Senior housing project features heavy dose of historic restoration

From the May 21, 1889 New York Times, under the headline "Telegraphic Brevities":

At the meeting of the American Baptist Publication Society in Boston yesterday the Hon. Horatio G. Jones, President of the Trustees of the George Nugent Home for Baptists at Germantown, Philadelphia, announced that the home had a foundation or endowment of $300,000 or $400,000, and was ready to receive all Baptist ministers and their wives over sixty years of age. The inmates are supported for life.

A pair of senior housing projects

In talking about historical properties and their restoration, the phrase "character defining elements" comes up often. It means attributes of a building that make it extra-special -- grand balconies, architectural flourishes, distinctive windows.

On West Johnson Avenue in Mount Airy, the ongoing re-do of the former Nugent Home for Baptists, along with the makeover of the former Presser Home For Retired Music Teachers just next door, are restoring two of the historic neighborhood's own character defining elements.

Nolen Properties bought the two large sites, which had been vacant since 2002, and will eventually join them as one 5.5-acre campus with a planned third building in between in an open area that was once gardens. The 1914 Presser building, now the Presser Senior Apartments, is finished, its 45 units full and with a waiting list.

But work began only recently on what will be the $17 million, 57-unit Nugent Senior Apartments.

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About the author

Amy Z. Quinn, NewsWorks Northwest reporter

Amy Z. Quinn developed an interest in planning and land use while covering rapidly-developing South Jersey suburbs for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and later wrote extensively about urban and beachfront redevelopment for the Asbury Park Press.

Over more than 15 years of local reporting, opinion writing and blogging, Amy has cultivated a distinctive voice and desire to get right to the heart of an issue. She also trains tomorrow's news professionals as a popular journalism instructor at several area universities. 
 
A Manayunk native now living in an average suburban development, Amy covers Northwest Philly as part of PlanPhilly's partnership with WHYY's NewsWorks.


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