Just after the City Paper reported that a building had partially collapsed at 49th and Florence, Philly Mag's Liz Spikol has reported that a second building has collapsed at 848 Wharton Street, in South Philly, just feet away from popular Pat's King of Steaks. Spikol reported that neighbors had filed complaints online about the dangerous condition of that building as well.
The building is owned by Maria Oliveri, cousin of Pat's owner Frank Oliveri, Jr. Maria is known for her disputes with siblings over the Pat's franchise and her ownership of a vacant eyesore across the street from the cheesesteak joint.
According to the city's online records, the Wharton Street property had been cited by L&I twice since 2005. A permit was pulled in 2011 to demolish interior non-load bearing walls. That permit expired in 2013, and it is not clear if any work had taken place that might have affected the building's structural integrity.
The extreme snowfall and frigid temperatures are suspected of exacerbating existing structural problems. Although there's more snow on the way, L&I has not yet issued a comment or articulated a public safety strategy for Philadelphia's many structurally unsound buildings.
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