Demolition Begins at 368 Lyceum Ave.

Three homes planned for site.

A Roxborough property owner began demolition on a Lyceum Avenue home Wednesday.

Despite petitions and pleas from residents, Andrew Thomas exercised his property rights and legally acquired city permits to take a wrecking ball to 368 Lyceum Ave. The owner plans to build three homes.

Neighbors learned of the home's fate in late October and attempted to preserve it from destruction, just as they did with the historical Bunting House at 5901 Ridge Ave. Unlike with that home, neighbors never reached an agreement with Thomas, who is also building homes at Monastery Avenue.

Workers cut down trees Oct. 25, causing rumors to swirl that the home would fall Oct. 29. Hurricane Sandy delayed that action—but not for long.

After the storm, crews installed a demolition fence and appliances were removed from the large Gothic-style home.

The wrecking ball began at the property's backdoor early Wednesday, and worked about half-way through the building until 3 p.m., when the snow and rain began to pick up in Roxborough.

Thomas has never returned a request for comment.

However, at the Nov. 1 Central Roxborough Civic Association, resident Don Simon shared the plans at the site.

  • Three single-family homes—one set of twins and one separate building
  • A shared driveway between the twin and other home
  • Six parking rear spaces, two a piece

Cick here to read that report.

Disclosure: The editor lives in a neighboring property to the one in the article.

Debbie Thomas November 08, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Hope these 3 homes have a different design than the other new construction in the area.
Ines Stelzer November 09, 2012 at 08:48 AM
How many historical places have been torn down in roxborough? The dearnley park mansion - gone - cookie-cutter houses. Green Lane library, renovated for condos. The house at ridge & fairthorn torn down so Barbara could build a parking lot, then move his business to NE. The post on Manayunj & Krams , who knows what that style is - its all over the place. Lately I've been seeing the same type - stucco with aluminum siding framing the front - one on leverington, another at silverwood near fountain, and now the ugly slapped up homes at green & manayunk. It wouldn't be so bad if they at least kept in style of the area. Manayunk is historic - so why would you build the same stucco building smack in the middle of old homes?? Who ever is approving the design doesn't care squat what they are doing to the neighborhood. If anything someone's being paid off to approve this ugly homes. You'd never get away with this in East Falls or Fairmount. Roxborough, the new NE, a strip mall on every corner,. Anything unique about roxborough/manayunk is gone.
Ines Stelzer November 09, 2012 at 08:52 AM
my post says basically the same thing - who ever is approving the design either knows nothing about historical areas, doesn't care because he doesn't live here, or he's getting paid off. Those home look cheap, they will bring down property value, And when you drive by on the expressway and look up to the hills of Manayunk you see these square boxes with a tiny window or two - they look like a temporary prisons, or storage units. Looks like hell, doesn't fit it.
L.Kaiser November 09, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I am really getting tired of developers building homes whereever there is a free spot. Parking in Roxborough is getting as sparce as in Manayunk. I thought we had a moratorium on building new homes in the neighborhood. We should be concentrating on selling the houses we have already in Roxborough for sale!
Pete December 08, 2012 at 05:12 PM
We almost bought that house in 2001. But it needed too much work, and all the original features of the house had already been ruined. The fireplace was removed, as in nothing there at all. The new flooring was poorly done, some structural stuff too. We would have fixed it up for sure. We stopped by a month later just out of curiosity, and they were having a Christmas party. There were wreathes on every window, and children dressed up and running and playing on the porch. The house was lit up and glowing. We never regretted our decision not to buy, as we got a great house elsewhere. But it's so strange to almost be a part of what could have been, and to see it getting torn down.


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