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The Mercantile Library, A Masterpiece of Modern Architecture, is For Sale

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Right on Chestnut Street, behind inconspicuous black boards, a stunning example of modern architecture sits in shambles. The Mercantile Library, a mid-century modern building built in 1952 is now on the market as a shell. Though there were plans to re-purpose the building as the offices of an architecture firm as recently as last October, it seems that those plans have fallen through.

The Mercantile Library was the first mid-century modern building put on the Philadelphia Historic Register, and it was written up in a New Yorker column as a stunning example of architecture for a civic institution.

Photos show that the building is in need of more than a little work, but the asking price is $1.69M. According to the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog, the last time the Mercantile Library was sold, it only fetched a price of $750K.
· The Mercantile Library [LoopNet]
· Mercantile Library makeover may get moving soon [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]
· Almost Nude [Hidden City]