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hammersklavier Sep 2, 2009 7:16 PM

Some News:

1) Cira South: The parking garage is about halfway done. It is now a presence, and a handsome façade...for a parking garage. There is still space on either side for the two proposed towers, and I hope that a deal can be worked out soon.

2) South Street Bridge: The original bridge was demo'd all the way down to the pierheads and new piers have been built atop. All three main piers are finished, so superstructure installation ought to begin shortly.

3) UPenn Park (for lack of a better name): Demolition of the current parking lots has begun. Exactly how they'll demo the east lot's up in the air since it's currently being used as a Cira South receiving yard. (There is also a disused rail spur down there that I'd hope would be used as a decorative element of some sort in the park.)

4) The JFK Bvld Bridge really does look a lot better!

Swinefeld Sep 2, 2009 8:13 PM

There has been a lot of landscaping and small scale construction on the Schuylkill River Trail. Something is in the works.

bucks native Sep 5, 2009 1:02 PM

The Thinker at the Rodin Museum
Northeast corner, 22nd and the Parkway

photo credit:

Parkway plans

Garden and landscape rejuvenation project at the Rodin Museum, with streetscape improvements at its Benjamin Franklin Parkway location.

Mark Focht of the Fairmount Park Commission and Gail Harrity of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with others, presented initial plans to tie the Rodin Museum (one of the city’s most frequented sites by international visitors) into a better, more seamless, pedestrian- and bike-friendly stretch of the Parkway from 20th through 22nd streets. Landscape improvements have been commissioned from Olin Partners, and would marry, in a fashion, the Rodin to the new Barnes Foundation museum, school and grounds, now underway across the street.

bucks native Sep 5, 2009 1:23 PM

No casino.


hammersklavier Sep 5, 2009 8:23 PM

Taken yesterday:

hammersklavier Sep 7, 2009 2:44 AM

Photos along the Schuylkill:
If somebody can tell me what's going on down there, that'd be much appreciated...
Explains the staircase to nowhere and the path to nowhere.
And a shot of the South Street Bridge...

Steve (hammersklavier)

Aaamazarite Sep 7, 2009 5:49 PM


Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 4443589)
And a shot of the South Street Bridge...

Steve (hammersklavier)

Holy Poop! This thing looks like it might be ahead of schedule! A philly first!

Rail>Auto Sep 18, 2009 1:51 AM

I like the looks of this project, just wish they would save the spectrum... It's not like they don't have a 1,000 other parking spaces to put this in. The demolition of the spectrum will be the 2nd historic facility in that complex to be demolished.. what a shame.

I'm shocked that this project is moving so easily with cordish given the fact that they backed out of louisville, still haven't gotten a move on in st. louis, and are getting mixed reviews in kc.

Rail>Auto Sep 18, 2009 1:55 AM


Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 4376437)
Well then, how does every other city of our density in this country maintain their stadium-side parking garages? I like tailgating as much as the next person, and surely some tailgate lots will persevere for some time, but honestly, do you need miles and miles of asphalt for that singular purpose?

Yea, why not build parking garages and then convert the current asphalt lots into parks with areas for tailgatting inside of them?

Or better yet, why not encourage mass transit instead like AT&T Park does?

winxs Sep 18, 2009 2:36 AM


Originally Posted by Rail>Auto (Post 4462143)
I like the looks of this project, just wish they would save the spectrum... It's not like they don't have a 1,000 other parking spaces to put this in. The demolition of the spectrum will be the 2nd historic facility in that complex to be demolished.. what a shame.

Third. JFK Stadium, The Vet, and now the Spectrum.

bucks native Sep 18, 2009 8:58 AM

from here:

Penn Park progress / September 16

Penn Connects status check

On Feb. 26, 2009, Architect Michael Van Valkenburgh unveiled the model for Penn Park, the principal project on the former postal lands. While the plan includes a parking lot for 300 cars, the park is enhancing a desperately desolate concrete landscape into a large, vast open space. David Hollenberg said “it was the first time that Penn had the opportunity to design open space of this magnitude.”

“In the 1950s and 60s,” Praxis Director Harris Steinberg adds, “the University wanted to create an inward facing campus. In turn, this had a negative impact on the surrounding communities.” Now with Penn Connects, Steinberg believes, the University has had a philosophical change in the way its campus should physically and visually interact with the city. With Penn Connects, Penn hopes to create a beneficial environment not just for its students and faculty, but for all Philadelphians as well.

The proposal for Penn Park calls for three playing fields, a dome to cover a field during winter months, a 12-court tennis center, a softball stadium and possibly a ropes course on the eastern edge of campus between Walnut Street and South Street against the Schuylkill River.

Papageorge says the final plans will all depend on funding as some things (e.g. the softball field) take priority over others (e.g. the ropes course). The current design of the park is also environmentally friendly, as it includes storm water management and features native plants of the region. According to Papageorge, the first phase of the park is scheduled to open spring 2011.

“The ultimate goal,” says Papageorge, “is to make this area alive with 24/7 activity.” Over time (and with appropriate funding), Papageorge says the northern edge of Penn Park will eventually become a mixed-used development to include office, retail and residences for the university and city.

bucks native Sep 18, 2009 2:09 PM

Work planned to start

render credit:

copy of Center City Digest Fall '08 (discusses plans for ALL of Center City) here:

Get the Plaza right
September 19, 2009

nice slideshow here:

COMMENTARY / By Kiki Bolender and John Gibbons

The Center City District (CCD) is proposing a complete overhaul of the Dilworth Plaza, the public space to the west of City Hall.

A photo slide show and a three-part video tour of the site accompany this commentary. More detailed analyses of the proposed design are included by John Gibbons, co-chair of the AIA Urban Design Committee, and John Andrew Gallery, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

A December 2008 video showing the presentation of the CCD plan to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission is also featured below.

The proposed budget for the renovation work is $40-45 million, with $20 million called for as part of Mayor Nutter’s request for federal economic stimulus funds.

The project was presented to the Art Commission this month and the Planning Commission in December. Approvals are expected this winter, with construction scheduled before the end of the year.

According to CCD President and CEO Paul Levy, three structures are proposed – two along 15th Street – one as a stairway into traffic and the other housing a café and elevator access to the concourse. Both currently will have green roofs. A third smaller structure is contemplated along the north side aligned with a view up the Parkway. A smaller café and elevator access to concourse.

The existing plaza was conceived as a connector between the concourse below and activity on the street level. Transit riders can enter or emerge from the lower level below as it suits their convenience. The proposed new design wipes all that out, replacing a complex series of level changes with a single stair located to reinforce a design idea that is not reflective of natural user patterns.

We need to take a nuanced look at the existing plaza, and see what could be wonderful, and what might be hopelessly ineffective. The south end, with its ponderous granite furnishings and scary space-age fountain, does not appear to have much to recommend it. But the north end has the potential to be a wonderful place, with a sunlit lower level full of moveable chairs and bright umbrellas in the summer, and a skating rink in the winter.

In place of solid granite the proposed design concept would give us a glass sidewalk running almost the entire width of City Hall. Is this a material to stand the rigors of winter and time? Once it is covered with salt in bad weather, will we be able to walk on it? Or will it just be cordoned off, like another forlorn office building plaza? When the sun comes out after the storm, will that glass be beautiful, or will it be scratched and clouded from the salt?

In place of the present imaginative (albeit sometimes strange and foreboding) links between the street and the concourse, the CCD scenario “envisions the complete reconstruction of Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall with a new high-visibility, transparent entrance to public transit …” (Center City: Planning for Growth, Broad Street and City Hall, page 4, April 2007). The two buildings proposed along 15th Street are 100 feet long and the height of a three story row house. The sides are glass, and the roof will be covered with earth for plantings.

City Hall is a treasure – massive, quirky, over abundant in every way. (If you choose the right portal, you are greeted by carved elephants) As you approach it from the west on Market Street, each block reveals more and more of its outlandish width. The proposed pair of buildings would block that revelation, limiting your experience to the prescribed view. Stopped for the traffic light at Market Street, drivers would see transit entrances, not the seat of our government. Are these buildings generous? What do they give us? One replicates in function and type the SEPTA transit escalator enclosure across the street. According to Paul Levy, Executive Director of the CCD, the second is intended to house a café and provide elevator access to the concourse, both requiring solid enclosures within the glass.

Yet another building is proposed for the northwest corner of the site, with another point of elevator access, another café and a roof deck. The extraordinary view up the Parkway would be blocked, available only to those who could afford a seat on the roof. That is a total of three buildings in the plaza, each one blocking views to and from the plaza. Is the City eager to take on these high-maintenance structures? Is it realistic to imagine two cafes thriving in the plaza?

bucks native Sep 18, 2009 2:16 PM

Weave Bridge featured in the Architect's Newspaper

The Architect's Newspaper: Do the Twist

The University of Pennsylvania has landed a piece of trophy architecture with a definite twist: the new Weave Bridge, designed by structural engineer Cecil Balmond and his legendary Advanced Geometry Unit (AGU) research group at Arup. Now open to the public, the bridge will become part of a second phase of design work this fall with its integration into the surrounding campus masterplan, itself a hefty undertaking to remake the Philadelphia campus.
The unusually ambitious design was commissioned by the university in 2007, in reaction to a city announcement that it would temporarily close an essential campus connection: the century-old South Street Bridge, which had long served as the sole passage over an Amtrak line that runs between Penn’s athletic fields and its Hollenback building, home to athletic and ROTC facilities.

3100 South Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104

Rail>Auto Sep 19, 2009 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by winxs (Post 4462222)
Third. JFK Stadium, The Vet, and now the Spectrum.

You are absolutely right.. I forgot about JFK.

winxs Sep 19, 2009 12:58 AM

I don't understand this. The proposal identified in the last post is the old proposal from Fall '08. A new proposal came out this past Spring, which all of the rest of the posts in this thread were discussing. Even though the date is listed as September, 19, 2009, the quoted article is from January 20th.

cubanChris Sep 19, 2009 2:14 PM

plan philly rotates a lot of their old articles/features in the bottom 'quick content' section.

perhaps it was just one of the old ones cycling through? too bad - it'd be nice to see a large scale, high profile development like that mobilizing.

ah well.

bucks native Sep 21, 2009 5:27 PM

WINXS: You're correct. That date (19 SEP 2009) cannot be accurate. Sorry I didn't catch it. Thanks.

This is also from planphilly but the date is correct:

The City of Philadelphia in partnership with the Center City District & SEPTA is hosting an Open House for the public to hear a presentation by the design team and review plans for the Renovation of Dilworth Plaza Tuesday, September 22, 2009
6:00-7:30 PM
AIA Design Center
1218 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA
Formal presentation begins at 6:30 PM

The reconstruction of Dilworth Plaza at City Hall is among the most significant opportunities Philadelphia now has to transform an inhospitable plaza into an extraordinary centerpiece of the city's physical and civic fabric. The proposed, new Dilworth Plaza will be a gathering place for residents, office workers and visitors, a pedestrian link between the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and the retail, dining and entertainment district of Center City, and a major gateway to Philadelphia's multi-modal transit system. The public will have an opportunity to view and comment on plans proposed for the renovation of Dilworth Plaza and talk directly with the project design team.

1218 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA

hammersklavier Sep 21, 2009 6:12 PM

What is with these civic associations' obsession with presenting the one evening of the week when I'm not normally free? Gah...

hammersklavier Sep 22, 2009 2:12 AM


Originally Posted by bucks native (Post 4462673)
“The ultimate goal,” says Papageorge, “is to make this area alive with 24/7 activity.” Over time (and with appropriate funding), Papageorge says the northern edge of Penn Park will eventually become a mixed-used development to include office, retail and residences for the university and city.

I like that! :tup: Hopefully, between the old loft building, Cira South, mixed use and Penn Park entrances, and something in the lot between Cira South, Chestnut, Walnut, and the Schuylkill, this will be the southern anchor to a new neighborhood both CC and UC desperately need.

1SharpeMan Sep 24, 2009 8:45 PM

How about Infamous! Now JFK was a little before my time so I will concede. But the Vet historic??? What was historic, notoriously being voted worst stadium every year? The railing callapse injuring cadets attending the Army Navy game (which is historic)? The Chicago Bears reciever who blew out both knees just running down the field?
Not once while attending games at either of the new stadiums do I wish to be back at the Vet! And to be honest, the Spectrum was nice for it's time, but what would you save it for, what is so historic about it? It is not Madison Square Garden & the vet was no Lambeau Field or Fenway Park? Let progress happen and get over it.

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