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-   -   PHILADELPHIA | Lowrise/General Developments Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=160247)

Cro Burnham May 18, 2016 3:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight Hospitaller (Post 7445654)
but there are some beautiful residential alleyways that have character.

Very true. But beyond those two or three tiny cute back streets, which one can see and then move on from in about 30 seconds, there's basically no reason to visit the neighborhood. No interesting restaurants or night spots, no galleries, no decent cafes, no interesting stores, few interesting buildings, no people watching. That's fine for the people who live there if that's what they want, I guess . . . . but it's like a blank spot on the map of Center City.

The mentality represents to me the worst of the "private Philadelphian", the kind of quiet, smugly insular attitude that WC Fields would ridicule for its boringness.

Knight Hospitaller May 18, 2016 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cro Burnham (Post 7445668)
Very true. But beyond those two or three tiny cute back streets, which one can see and then move on from in about 30 seconds, there's basically no reason to visit the neighborhood. No interesting restaurants or night spots, no galleries, no decent cafes, no interesting stores, few interesting buildings, no people watching. That's fine for the people who live there if that's what they want, I guess . . . . but it's like a blank spot on the map of Center City.

The mentality represents to me the worst of the "private Philadelphian", the kind of quiet, smugly insular attitude that WC Fields would ridicule for its boringness.

Having briefly worked around 22nd and Arch, I absolutely agree that there was nowhere to go for lunch worth considering. I did enjoy the strolls through those alleys however. Families with kids like the peacefulness of the neighborhood, which I can understand (I have five young kids).

McBane May 18, 2016 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin7 (Post 7445402)
How about now conflating preservation with NIMBYism? I know most of this board doesn't care about architecture or urbanism, but wow.

What the hell are you talking about? People on this thread are far more concerned with urbanism than tall buildings. Why do you think hardly anyone here supports Blatstein's really tall but anti-urban box at Broad and Wash?

My point was simple. Opposing the demolition of an old building because you don't like its replacement is misguided. Posters here attacking this demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes are no different than the LSNA allowing the demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes (after rejecting a five story proposal).

Quote:

Originally Posted by br323206 (Post 7445542)
The real problem lies with the zoning code. It should be zoned correctly so they won't even be a factor. How in the world can you have zoning that doesn't allow multifamily buildings and has a 38' height limit literally 2000 feet from the tallest building in the city? That doesn't make any sense.

Bingo! And blanketly protecting all old buildings simply because they're old is bad policy. Not only do you need a realistic zoning code, you need professionals to be the main drivers of what does and does not get built. In our current system, the professionals have taken a back seat to NIMBYs and City Council, two actors who really should have very little say in planning. It's a completely backwards arrangement.

Knight Hospitaller May 18, 2016 4:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1487 (Post 7445599)
Let's hope this Rivage site project actually happens after many years of talk and no action. Looks good, much better than the status quo, but significantly different from prior proposals for this site.

http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/pr...0517_SMALL.pdf

Fills the lot nicely, with great views for residents. That bland west elevation needs work. Not sure what I think of the rectangular beehive motif. I wonder if they're getting a deal on surplus CITC triangular "bracing."

Cro Burnham May 18, 2016 4:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight Hospitaller (Post 7445709)
Having briefly worked around 22nd and Arch, I absolutely agree that there was nowhere to go for lunch worth considering. I did enjoy the strolls through those alleys however. Families with kids like the peacefulness of the neighborhood, which I can understand (I have five young kids).

I have kids too (not five! my god) and live on the fringes of Center City - and I would not want to live in Logan Square, for my kids' sake as well as mine: there's nothing for them to see there. I think kids benefit from observing and engaging with/in people and activity, neither of which are generally evident in Logan Square. Really a dull place.

Knight Hospitaller May 18, 2016 4:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7445724)
My point was simple. Opposing the demolition of an old building because you don't like its replacement is misguided. Posters here attacking this demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes are no different than the LSNA allowing the demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes (after rejecting a five story proposal).

I can't think of one example of someone posting anything like that here. Maybe LSNA's approach to preservation is hypocritical, but not the folks here. This is a shame no matter what is being built on the site. Summers' point was that a multi-unit structure would not only be a more urban-friendly use, but might offer a better chance of incorporating the facade than townhomes. Now that we see townhouse renderings that mimic what is already there, this is appalling. It's just that some folks have a higher threshold for what they think merits demolition of quality existing structures, even if Washington didn't sleep there.

Knight Hospitaller May 18, 2016 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cro Burnham (Post 7445736)
I have kids too (not five! my god) and live on the fringes of Center City - and I would not want to live in Logan Square, for my kids' sake as well as mine: there's nothing there for them to see there. I think kids benefit from observing and engaging with/in people and activity, neither of which are generally evident in Logan Square. Really a dull place.

I hear you, but I don't think it's an utter wasteland. I used to see lots of kids on the little playgrounds and folks interacting there. As for engaging with people, five kids can do that pretty well with each other. ;)

1487 May 18, 2016 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight Hospitaller (Post 7445757)
I hear you, but I don't think it's an utter wasteland. I used to see lots of kids on the little playgrounds and folks interacting there. As for engaging with people, five kids can do that pretty well with each other. ;)

its not a wasteland, its a nice residential enclave with quiet tree lined streets and big houses. And its only a few short blocks from West Market office jobs. The only wasteland is the parking lot on 23rd street. North of arch, west of 20th and south of the parkway is full of nice blocks.

logansquare May 18, 2016 8:14 PM

Logan Square and the Please Touch Site
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1487 (Post 7446030)
its not a wasteland, its a nice residential enclave with quiet tree lined streets and big houses. And its only a few short blocks from West Market office jobs. The only wasteland is the parking lot on 23rd street. North of arch, west of 20th and south of the parkway is full of nice blocks.

Long-time reader, infrequent poster, and a long-time resident of Logan Square. The characterizations presented over the past few pages are correct. Cro is correct in many ways -- there is very little to come and see in the part of Logan Square from 20th-23rd, Arch to Winter. But, we are very close to a lot - jobs in Center City West, Rittenhouse, Fairmount, the museums, public transit, the Schuylkill river, etc... It is a lovely little community with great people and families.

That being said, the great people are a tad insular - as recognized by their NIMBYism -- and really don't want change. Their comfort is in single family row houses, regardless of the gargantuan scale.

Unfortunately, with respect to this awesome building (which brings a lot of character to that block), it just didn't have anyone fighting for it. While a facadectomy would be awesome, that would cost money, and we all know that the only thing MOST developers care about is the bottom line $$$. So unless someone could convince the developers that they'd make more money by keeping the facade, they really don't care about how its loss impacts the rest of us.

Cro Burnham May 18, 2016 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight Hospitaller (Post 7445757)
I hear you, but I don't think it's an utter wasteland.

I never called it a wasteland. Specifically, I wrote that it is, "along with the urban renewal wasteland around Franklin Square, the blandest, most boring, characterless, most nondescript afterthought of a neighborhood in Center City." It is bland and boring, yes, but it is not a wasteland. That would be a silly thing to say. The area around Franklin Sq is, by contrast, an urban renewal wasteland.

Having said that, I recognize that Logan Sq must be pleasant for the families that live there. It's just not an interesting place to anyone else.

summersm343 May 18, 2016 10:50 PM

Remaking Sharswood: Commission votes to upzone, strike streets for PHA’s new headquarters

http://planphilly.com/uploads/media_....752.671.s.png

http://planphilly.com/uploads/media_....752.486.s.png

Quote:

On Tuesday the Philadelphia City Planning Commission unanimously recommended two zoning variances for the site of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s new headquarters planned for Ridge Avenue in North Philadelphia.

The authority (PHA) has already started construction on the first phase of its ambitious 10-year plan for the Sharswood neighborhood, located just north of Girard College. All told, the Authority hopes that the remade Sharswood will include 1,200 units of new mixed-income housing and a thriving commercial corridor on Ridge Avenue. At the heart of it, the Authority's new home.

The Commission’s gave a nod for two Council bills authorizing several street vacations and property rezoning.

Zoning changes will encourage taller, mixed-use buildings in prominent locations along the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor. Currently, about half of the PHA site is zoned RM-1 for low-density multi-family homes, and half CMX-2 for small-scale mixed-use buildings, like one with apartments above a storefront. The bill would upzone most of the site to CMX-3 for larger scale, higher-density, mixed-use developments like PHA’s proposed six-story, 135,000 square-foot headquarters.
http://planphilly.com/articles/2016/...w-headquarters

summersm343 May 18, 2016 11:06 PM

Revised Ridge Flats plan increases number of apartments

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/busines...oL2Gxyh15YC.99

summersm343 May 18, 2016 11:37 PM

Ridge Flats - 4300 Ridge Ave - 6 floors - apartments/retail

https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Ti7....04_20PM.0.png

https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/brU...16.18%20PM.png

https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/TEe...16.28%20PM.png

Article:
http://philly.curbed.com/2016/5/18/1...lls-renderings

CDR Submission:

http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/pr...0517_SMALL.pdf

Busy Bee May 19, 2016 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summersm343 (Post 7446278)

So do I understand that they plan on redeveloping all that horrid vinyl suburban dreck that they put up in the 90s/early aughts?

eixample May 19, 2016 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summersm343 (Post 7446278)

Nothing says revitalized commercial strip like two vast surface lots across the street from each other. I really think it is dumb to move PHA's headquarters so far away from major transit lines and other major office areas. North Broad Street would have made sense, this plan does not.

allovertown May 19, 2016 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7445724)

My point was simple. Opposing the demolition of an old building because you don't like its replacement is misguided. Posters here attacking this demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes are no different than the LSNA allowing the demolition because it's being replaced with townhomes (after rejecting a five story proposal).

I don't understand your assertion here at all. Why should what replaces a building not matter? The NIMBYS are annoying because they act like they care about saving an historic building, when in actuality they're just opposing denser more urban development and the preservation of an historic building is an easier cause to rally behind. It's a tried and true tool of the NIMBY playbook, but just because it's a tactic that NIMBY's sometimes use doesn't mean it is automatically invalid in all instances.

The difference here is that people actually care about this building. It's not a ruse to get our way, this building has a ton of character and it's a fucking shame that's it's being demolished. That being said, not every old building can be saved just because it is old and beautiful. This is not a city encased in amber, it's living and breathing and changing.

I do believe however that an existing historic building sets a certain bar that new development MUST pass. If you're building on an empty lot, there is nothing to compare a new building to. Even if it's ugly as hell, it's at least something, a place where people can live or work or shop. A building where once there was nothing is always an improvement of the urban fabric. But if you're going to knock down a building, an interesting, historic building with a unique backstory and a place where countless Philadelphians have visited and enjoyed, then you damn sure better replace it with something worthwhile.

Why would we ever want this city to step backward? Why would ever want to lose something loved and have it replaced with something banal and soulless? What is replacing a building ABSOLUTELY matters, and in this case these McMansions don't come close to stacking up.

Totally agree though that the biggest culprit here is the shit zoning. A max of 38'? That is totally out of touch with reality? What a joke. Also fuck the LSNA.

Cro Burnham May 19, 2016 3:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by allovertown (Post 7446497)
I do believe however that an existing historic building sets a certain bar that new development MUST pass . . . you damn sure better replace it with something worthwhile.

Totally agree though that the biggest culprit here is the shit zoning. A max of 38'? That is totally out of touch with reality? What a joke. Also fuck the LSNA.

Dead on (with all due respect to our SSP friend logansquare ;))

hammersklavier May 19, 2016 5:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 7446387)
So do I understand that they plan on redeveloping all that horrid vinyl suburban dreck that they put up in the 90s/early aughts?

Nope, that horrible suburban dreck is what Darrell Clarke thinks the whole neighborhood ought to look like. :rolleyes:

Justin7 May 19, 2016 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by allovertown (Post 7446497)
not every old building can be saved just because it is old and beautiful.

I agree with your post in general, but take some issue with this. Each beautiful old building that is lost makes it easier to tear down the next one. I absolutely agree that cities need to grow, but Philadelphia is full of opportunities for this without tearing down pre-war buildings of a higher quality than anything that will replace them.

There are still many parking lots to build on, many above ground garages to demolish, urban renewal disaster areas to remedy, air rights over rail yards and highways, and let's face it, plenty of ugly buildings that were not built nearly as well as the one we are discussing. There are opportunities for great projects like The Beacon that incorporate historic structures. Philadelphia has so much room to grow.

When all of that is done? Sure, at that point it's time to have a discussion about replacing the quality small scale buildings with more density, but until then it's a folly driven by greed and the city is worse for it.

1487 May 19, 2016 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin7 (Post 7446776)
I agree with your post in general, but take some issue with this. Each beautiful old building that is lost makes it easier to tear down the next one. I absolutely agree that cities need to grow, but Philadelphia is full of opportunities for this without tearing down pre-war buildings of a higher quality than anything that will replace them.

There are still many parking lots to build on, many above ground garages to demolish, urban renewal disaster areas to remedy, air rights over rail yards and highways, and let's face it, plenty of ugly buildings that were not built nearly as well as the one we are discussing. There are opportunities for great projects like The Beacon that incorporate historic structures. Philadelphia has so much room to grow.

When all of that is done? Sure, at that point it's time to have a discussion about replacing the quality small scale buildings with more density, but until then it's a folly driven by greed and the city is worse for it.

Your statement doesn't take into account location and neighborhood desirability. While it is true that Philly still has many surface parking lots and ugly garages, they typically are NOT located in the heart of very desirable residential neighborhoods. And those that are typically will be built on eventually. developers are going to try to build luxury housing in established neighborhoods that have shown they can support the pricing. You aren't going to find anyone offering to build million dollar townhomes on parking lots on North Broad or near 10th and Vine since there is no evidence that anyone would buy such a product at those locations. So saying that developers should steer clear of older buildings in nicer areas when there are plenty of parking lots on the outskirts of Center City waiting for them to build on ignores the realities of the housing market.


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