Baker Funeral Home to be demolished by spring

The funeral parlor, which closed in 2017, will be replaced by a six-story apartment building.

The Baker Funeral Home, as seen from Broad Street, will be fully demolished by early March, with plans for a six-story building to be built in its place. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Demolition of the Baker Funeral Home, a long-standing funeral parlor on Broad Street near Norris that closed in 2017, will be completed in early March.

The demolition began on Jan. 8, said Michael Alhadad, a developer who owns the property. Alhadad plans to build a six-story, 40-unit residential building on the site.

Construction of the new building is set to begin in April or May, Alhadad said. The building’s first floor will be designated as commercial space, though an occupant has yet to be found, he added.

Alhadad’s project was approved on Oct. 2, 2019, after being denied by the city’s Licenses and Inspections Department on June 10, 2019. The city’s first refusal centered around a zoning designation that restricts developers from building single-use apartments on Broad Street between Oxford and Diamond, while the second concerned a limit on the amount of land a building is allowed to occupy within its property. 

The development hit another roadblock after Philadelphia Police found 48 boxes of cremated remains in the vacant property in October, The Temple News reported. At the time, police did not say how they would handle the remains.

Baker closed in September 2017 after repeatedly failing to file tax returns, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The third-generation funeral parlor began operating in 1975 and was known for its “standard of excellence,” its owner Vince Baker told The Philadelphia Tribune in 2017. 

Vince Baker could not be reached for comment. 

The Baker Funeral Home, as seen from Carlisle Street, is currently being demolished. After completion of the demolition, construction on a new residential housing unit will begin in April or May. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

While still in operation, Baker Funeral Home hosted at least three or four funerals a day, often opening early in the morning to prepare, said Guadalupe Patilla, who lives on Norris Street near Carlisle. 

“He buried just about everybody that lives around there,” said Patilla, who has lived in the neighborhood for 73 years.

The home was a “neighborhood landmark,” so seeing it demolished is a shame, Patilla, who works in Temple housekeeping department, added.

“A lot of the history of North Philadelphia just seems to be falling down to the wayside because they want to be putting a lot of these high-rises up here,” she said. 

Janet King, who lives on 15th Street near Diamond, said that when private developers want to build something in the neighborhood, they often get their way.

“Broad Street is becoming a high-rise strip now,” said King, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1983.

“It’s going to be sad,” King added. “It’s not going to be the neighborhood I moved to.”


  1. My entire family that passed away was done by bakers last memories of my parents and the staff was amazing this makes me truly sad 😢 😔💔💔💔💔

  2. Pushing us to where they plan to move from and back to Nierg Philly where everything is accessible!

  3. The funerals of MOST of my family on my father’s side were handled by Baker, with great dignity and excellence. Another Iconic Black business gone in the name of “progress!”

  4. The Baker Funeral Home helped service our family with at least 11 funeral services and burials. My father and his six brothers, to start.
    Four of them served in the Army, Navy and one was a Tuskegee Airman!
    They treated us with dignity and respect, as a “Legacy” family.So sorry to see them go. Many thanks to Mr. Vincent Baker, his parents and the many workers there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.