The Bunting House at 5901 Ridge Ave. itself is gone, but local civic associations continue a fight to make sure it didn't go down in vain.
An appeal to the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment took place last week, despite the fact that the building in question was demolished, Central Roxborough Civic Association President Ed Hotham said at the group's Jan. 3 meeting.
The CRCA—along with the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, Wissahickon Interested Citizens Association, Ridge Park Civic Association and Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association—fought to preserve the Victorian home throughout the fall. In December, a Court of Common Pleas judge ruled against an injunction, and property owners Giovannone Construction exercised their legally acquired building permits and demolished the Bunting House, along with 5905, 5907 and 5909 Ridge Ave.
Hotham said the civic associations' attorney, Hal Schirmer, offered to continue the case in order to establish precedent for future demolitions.
"Hal wanted to follow through and make sure something like this shouldn't happen again," Hotham said.
The legal battle was in response to the developer securing permits and questioned whether the city should have issued them to begin with. Kevin Smith, of the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, attended the Jan. 2 hearing and said the zoning board seemed attentive.
Although the civics expect to lose the city case, Hotham said the groups were interested in appealing at the state level. Schirmer has offered to work pro bono, but funds are needed for filing.
Whether or not the neighborhood groups succeed legally, the Bunting House awoke a sentiment to get ahead of future projects.
Resident Bob Spear said neighbors, led by Kay Sykora, have set up a meeting with the City Planning Commission to discuss Roxborough's options—including a potential zoning overlay that would make demolition tougher.