Allison Building project and parklet to enhance Roxborough's Ridge corridor

A century-old building at the heart of the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor will be preserved and renovated next year, and a new adjacent parklet will add some green to the neighborhood.

 The Allison Building, erected around 1910 and named for a landowner from the late 18th century, had been occupied by Koszowski's Carpet Gallery for 38 years.

The Italianate brick building at 6168 Ridge Ave. has two apartments above it that will remain part of the redeveloped mixed-use property.

Visions for future site

The Roxborough Development Corporation plans to bring something new and attractive to the mix of businesses along the avenue.

"It will not be a pizza parlor or a hair salon. We already have enough of those," said RDC executive director Bernard Guet.

"One thought was to have a sit-down restaurant that would bring the evening economy to Ridge Avenue – possibly a BYOB that would cater to the local residents," Guet continued. "Or, if somebody selling pastries wanted to open a business and it's good for Ridge Avenue, we'll do that. We're looking for something that we don't have on the avenue. We want to encourage people to shop locally, not at the malls."

Other RDC rehab projects resulted in the Foodery at 6148 Ridge Ave. and the Crossroads Coffee House at 6156 Ridge Ave.

Maps and old photos of the site at 6168 Ridge Ave. show a trio of three-story buildings of similar characteristics on the block. In the 1950s, a fire gutted two of the buildings. The city razed what remained of them, and added a blacktop connecting Ridge to the Leverington Avenue parking area behind the site.

About the author

Alan Jaffe, Contributor

Alan Jaffe has been a contributing writer for PlanPhilly since 2008, focusing on overlooked buidlings and historic preservation issues. He was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”

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