Homes on S. Matack St. are predominently brick twins with large front porches.

Last week the Borough made it clear they are ready to say goodbye to out-of-place new builds. At Tuesday’s Borough Council Worksession members pushed back against the design for a four-unit condominium planned for 732 S. Matlack Street. The presented streetscape showed a brick and gray shake exterior with a single central unit and four small porticos to signify each unit’s entrance. 

“I’m concerned,” said Borough Councilman Nick Allen upon seeing the design.  

Councilwoman Lisa Dorsey seconded those feelings. “I think we are losing our historic charm with some of these modern-looking structures we are putting up,” she said.

The builder said the project architect pulled inspiration from a new build on a nearby block but that they had no problem going back to the drawing board on the exterior design.

“We have no concern reworking this,” he told Council members. He promised to return with a final design that better incorporated the elements of the neighborhood including a larger front porch area, more brick, and the residences that look like four separate units. When finished each will be a 3-bedroom unit with a two-car garage and additional off-street parking – in case you know anyone in the market.

Councilwoman Dorsey also left a request for the planning commission. “Be more aware and conscious of how we are changing the aesthetic of the borough,” she said.

Originally published, Mar. 17, 2023

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