I just wanted to say a few words about the massive fire at the Windemere Court Apartments at 48th & Walnut Streets that happened on Monday. While no one was hurt, the fire was still tragic because about 100 people lost everything they owned. One of them was Greg Heller, the director of the community organization The Enterprise Center. The Enterprise Center, based at 46th & Market Streets in the building that used to be the studios for American Bandstand, is a West Philadelphia community organization that seeks to build up the area’s economy and strengthen the community. So now, its director and the other 100 or so residents of the Windemere Court Apartments need help. You may be able to help at the Red Cross website here.
As for the building itself, it would be a great loss of architecture if the building was demolished. It completes the collection of 1920s apartment buildings surrounding much of West Philadelphia High School, and a building like that will never be built again. It is my sincere hope that the owners and the city find a way to save what they can of the building, like the outer walls, and rebuild the rest. Since it appears the fire was worst on the upper floors, because it was spread probably by a flammable roof, then maybe there is hope for that kind of renovation. Such a renovation is about to be done at the Lincoln Apartments, at 12th & Locust, which is about to be converted to a hotel years after being gutted by a fire. So, we will see what happens as the community and the residents try to move forward from this tragedy.