PIDC is assisting the City of Philadelphia with its plans to seek a development partner to redevelop The Judge Nicholas A. Cipriani Family Court Building located at 1801 Vine Street.  The building currently houses the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.  The Family Division will relocate to a new facility at 15th & Arch in the Summer of 2014.

The iconic 250,000 square foot building, with a highly visible location along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was designed by Philadelphia architect John Torrey Windrim and constructed in 1941 with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The building’s exterior, and a portion of its interior, including 37 WPA murals, is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  The Family Court Building and The Free Library of Philadelphia which was completed in 1927, are twin buildings modeled after the palace buildings of La Place de la Concorde in Paris.

In anticipation of the Family Court’s move, PIDC recently completed a building documentation and assessment study for 1801 Vine Street.  Completed by John Milner Architects, the study examined the historical features and environmental condition of the building.   In order to ensure that this unique asset is redeveloped in a manner that is sensitive to its historic features, PIDC enlisted the guidance of a Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from the Philadelphia Historical Commission, Preservation Alliance, The Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and The Parkway Council.

The information derived from the study will support a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which PIDC will issue in late Fall on behalf of the City.  This process will allow the City to evaluate opportunities for the adaptive reuse of the building which would take full advantage of its prominent location on the Parkway, just steps from the newly opened Barnes Museum, refurbished Rodin Museum, and Sister Cities Park. The RFQ represents a rare development opportunity to revitalize an important historic building and to create a unique, new destination along Philadelphia’s most prominent thoroughfare.

For more information on 1801 Vine Street, or to learn more about PIDC’s Real Estate Services, please contact Amanda Davis, Real Estate Manager at 215.496.8184 or adavis@pidc-pa.org.