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Demo permits filed as Wills Eye Hospital eyes expansion

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The hospital has filed applications for to raze two non-historic structures

Wills Eye Hospital plans to raze two structures as part of its larger efforts to expand its campus.
Photo by Melissa Romero

Wills Eye Hospital in Washington Square West is moving forward with plans to expand its campus, starting with the planned demolition of two structures on the corner of S. 9th and Locust.

“Wills Eye Hospital has been in discussion for several months with representatives from the City about the condition of two non-historic structures, 229 and 231 S. Ninth Street,” hospital spokesperson Cathy Moss told Curbed Philly. “Following these discussions, we have concluded that in the interest of public safety, it is necessary to demolish these two structures.”

The two buildings are not registered historic, although they are located next to a series of other rowhomes that are on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Moss said the hospital has filed a request for demolition permits with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and are awaiting approval.

A newsletter sent out this week by the Washington Square West Civic Association said, “Present thinking is a new tower on the east side of 9th Street, adjacent to the current hospital and garage, possibly extending to Locust Street.”

However, Moss said the hospital hasn’t made any final decisions about future development on the site, though it is clear that it will be a new research and medical-care facility. Said Moss, “There remains a critical need to expand the hospital’s facilities so that we can continue to provide world-class care to our patients.”