Bodine Street House
710 North Bodine Street
I have a history about a house in Northern Liberties which I would like to share with you. Around 1985, I received a desperate call in the Northern Liberties office that there was a bulldozer in front of this Bodine Street home, and the city was getting ready to tear it down. I made many frantic phone calls and they stopped the demolition. However, it wasn't enough just to save the house – it had to be renovated.
At that time, we were working closely with the Office of Housing and Community Development, saving houses in Northern Liberties for rehab. They agreed that if we could find a developer, they would help restore the house. Because of its many original features, we had to make sure it wasn’t gutted, but that someone would actually restore it. It was with the help of Providence that an architect (John Burris by name) who specialized in historic restoration took over the project and he and a contractor not only saved it but brought it back to its original beauty. It was then sold to a low income person, who appreciated the original qualities of the house.
And that’s not all: in April, 1988, a magazine titled “Country Home” featured the same house in one of their articles entitled, “On The Streets of Philadelphia”. There are pictures of the beautiful original architecture, including mantels, doors and woodwork.
And so, this house went from bulldozer to beautification in the span of less than five years.
Oh yes, when I wrote to the editor of “Country Home” to tell her of the coincidence, I discovered that it was Jean LemMon, who was from my hometown of Proctor, Minnesota.
Well, that’s my story, and I’m stuck with it.