Mission First Housing Group

Return to Our Property Portfolio

Parkside Preservation

4201 Girard Avenue; 4104, 4106, 4202, 4208, 4210, 4216, 4218, 4222, 4238, 4240, and 4244 Parkside Avenue; & 1237, 1239, 1241, and 1243 Belmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Number of Units


Year Developed


Development Costs



Historic restoration of 16 19th century homes in Parkside Historic District. Critical to revitalization momentum of neighborhood


These stately Victorian-era homes adjacent to Fairmount Park in West Philadelphia were constructed in the early 1900s by immigrants of German descent. Less than a century later, the entire neighborhood of Parkside had fallen into a deplorable state of deterioration and blight.


Due to the persistence and vision of the Parkside Historic Preservation Corporation (PHPC), Parkside was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. This was the catalyst that ignited the spirit of neighborhood revitalization efforts. In 1999, the Parkside Historic Preservation Corporation asked Mission First Housing Group to join in their efforts to revitalize the area.


Through funding from Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, among others, Mission First created 82 units in 16 buildings, 12 of which are certified as historic. In addition to gutting and modernizing the interiors, Mission First took care to maintain and restore the historical integrity of the exteriors. Marble columns, wrought-iron gates and copper detail work on the facades of the buildings were restored to their original state.  The look of the curved glass with copper bays in the front windows was preserved, and the distinctive front porches were restored to their original grandeur.


Today, the project provides housing for 103 individuals from all walks of life. Residents enjoy their picturesque location on the edge of 9,200-acre Fairmount Park, the largest city park in the world, which provides access to museums, scenic trails, bicycle paths, historic monuments and sculptures. Within easy walking distance, residents also enjoy the Philadelphia Zoo and the Mann Music Center.


Pennsylvania Affordable Housing Management Association Platinum Award for Outstanding Community: 2008

NAHRO Award of Excellence: 2005