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Orange Is the New Black Again and Again at Old City's 'National'

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Image and Renderings via PlanPhilly

After multiple attempts to redevelop the The National Products building near 2nd and Arch St. in Old City, is it possible that we'll finally see the orange-tiled facade come back to life? PlanPhilly reports that proposals in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011 were given the go-ahead but nothing ever came of any of them. Now, development group National Patriot LLC., who paid $6.5M for the property in 2012, is looking to turn the building into a mixed-use apartment complex. The plans call to historically renovate those mod-tastic tiles, which are "badly damaged" according to the Historical Commission.

The proposed structure would rise six-stories above the street and ground floor retail would be located on N. 2nd St. As you can see from the renderings, it would hover of tiny Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continually inhabited street in America. A prior proposal called for a 10-story structure.

Barton Partners are the architects on the new project. The facade itself is historically registered, not the six buildings associated with the project, which would be razed. National Patriot would look to salvage the facade as well as "remanufacture" tiles that were badly damaged. The lettering looks like it would stay as well, so that's a sigh of relief. The structure will be a mix of gray metal and asymmetrical window placement.

What do you think: Would you welcome the new-look National in Old City or do they still have some work to do?

· Mixed-use apartment complex proposed for historic Old City building [PlanPhilly]