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Inside and On Top of Spruce Street Commons’ Historic ‘Touraine’ and ‘Annex’ Apartment Buildings

August 10, 2015


Had the INCREDIBLE opportunity this past week to explore The Touraine, a beautiful, nearly 100-year-old apartment tower. As well as The Annex, two mid-19th century brownstones. All three on west Spruce street, between 15th and 16th.

The proprietors of these historic buildings, called Spruce Street Commons, contacted me because 1) they’ve seen my blog and know I love iconic Philadelphia architecture, and 2) they noticed you could get a really great view of JR’s massive new Mural Arts’ mural from their roofs!

So much to see in these lovely buildings. For one, The Annex has a green roof. (I wish more buildings in Philly had these.) And the views from all the buildings were, as I expected, stunning. Including many great angles to shoot JR’s piece.

After touring the roofs, we took a walk through a space they’ve recently uncovered while renovating a section of The Touraine’s ground floor (photos below). While the space had been an active modeling school until fairly recently, from the looks of the tiling and some other details they’ve uncovered, the owners are guessing it was originally some sort of speak-easy and grand dinning hall when The Touraine was still a Hotel!

While final plans for the space are as-yet unannounced, the owners want to make sure that it is used in a way that showcases the original architecture as they work to restore it.


Thanks again to Spruce Street Commons for letting me come visit and explore!

Interested in more Philly restorations? Check out:
Eraserhood’s Goldtex Building Pays Homage to Its Abandoned/Graffitied Past, Supports Artists in the Process
How to Restore an Abandoned Milk Depot in Brewerytown
Uncovering A 100 Year-Old ‘Ghost Sign’ in Port Richmond

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