4824 Baltimore Ave has been nominated because it is an interesting case of the “revival of an abandoned building.” Formerly a bank, and then the site of the Beulah Tabernacle church, 4824 Baltimore has been purchased to be the site of the new Mariposa Co-op Building, which will open this fall.
The building is going to be renovated by sustainable architecture firm Re:Vision Architects which has offices in Philadelphia and Berkeley and the Community Design Collaborative. Mariposa is making sure that the building is being renovated in an energy efficient manner, and will incorporate aspects such as cisterns for rainwater harvesting for irrigation, air distribution using heat recover from refrigeration, and the use of salvaged materials. The new store will also have beehives and a rooftop farm.
The building, which was originally a bank called the Belmont Company Trust, is more than 7,000 square feet and has a large first floor area which was originally used as the bank’s lobby. The vault is still present in the space. Since purchasing the building, Mariposa Co-Op has found “2 signed pieces of wood in the building from 3 different woodworkers and writing on some marble slabs” all of which have been dated to the early 1920s. From 1985 to 1992, the building was bounced around from bank company to bank company until the deed was transferred from Liberty Savings to Beulah Tabernacle Church.
The Philadelphia Historical Commission reports that the new building was designed in 1922 by Norman Hulme and “contracts for construction were let in early 1923.” The Belmont Trust Company had been on the site since at least 1908 and then it was taken over by First Pennsylvania Bank. Norman Hulme also designed a bank building for the Belmont Trust Company on 45th and Walnut, which is today the site of Manakeesh Restaurant. The Philadelphia Historical Commission notes that “it has very similar features- “limestone facade, a clock over the front door, and massive steel windows.”