I woke up one morning to a weather app that promised clear skies. So when I walked into the BMK Builder's Showroom on Richmond Street, unprepared for a monsoon, I arrived as a blonde version of that girl who creeps out of the well in The Ring. I knew I was in for a "special" day. (Note to self: Always keep an umbrella in the car.)
And special it was! I entered the building (which features 7 residential units for rent and 1 commercial space), to an amazing discovery. An enormous Ghost Sign was found! Buried behind a plaster wall for decades, the long forgotten cute and chubby faced Pan Dandy baker boy mural was accidentally unearthed. More than just a blast from the past,this mural is a historic artifact and masterful specimen of the artisan days of Philadelphia. The hand-painted commercial mural is one of a kind. All of the brush strokes are visible and colors are vibrant, making it a stark contrast to urban art, digital, and mass produced images that dominate street advertisements today. The Pan Dandy baker boy resides as a permanent piece on a bedroom wall in one of the 2 bedroom units up for rent at 3118 Richmond St. And yes, this unit is available for rent!
Joe Livewell, from the developer team, was the one who gave me the tour of 3118 Richmond St. apartments. He is a very cool guy with local ties to the neighborhood. The inside scoop from Joe is that he is in the process of opening a much-needed, totally hip, NYC style cafe in only a few months. It's located on the ground level of the apartment complex on 3118 Richmond Street between Indiana and Clearfield streets. The cafe will have great seating, free WiFi, and an industrial vibe complete with garage doors that open to the street in the warmer months. How cool would it be if they had Pan Dandy toast on the menu? We can't wait.
Richmond St. is the commercial corridor of Port Richmond and if you don't know it yet, it is on the cusp of an amazing revival! It's so exciting to see! Joe Livewell and I agree, that this chubby baker boy is just a reminder of the rich history that still remains hidden and ready to be revealed in Port Richmond.