The Maguire Residence is an adaptive reuse of the former Frances Willard Elementary School in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, including a full renovation of the existing historic building and a small lobby addition. This four-story renovation will contain 42 affordable-housing apartments, comprised of 30 efficiencies and 12 one-bedroom units for formerly homeless individuals or those at risk of homelessness. Six units will be fully accessible (FHA compliant), and the remainder of the units will be adaptable. The restored main corridors will showcase the existing flooring, transom windows, and woodwork as initially designed, while the apartment units will benefit from high ceilings and abundant natural light from large operable windows. The first floor will accommodate management offices, a residential services office suite, exercise room, tenant storage, laundry room, community room with kitchen, and building services. An existing open-air stair tower will be converted to two new elevators, elevator lobbies, and trash rooms for each floor while keeping the original masonry walls intact. The renovated building will be designed and constructed to achieve Enterprise Green Communities certification and a reduced HERS index.
Listed on the National Register, the exterior of this historic 1908 steel and masonry building, including the original granite and terra cotta detailing, will be fully restored. The small addition will be a distinct element so as not to detract from the original building’s historic character. The school’s original playground area will become secured staff parking, visitor parking, and a stormwater quality rain garden basin. The site is located a few blocks from the Kensington Avenue commercial corridor and is less than a half-mile walk to the Somerset Avenue station on the Market-Frankford subway line.