A decade ago, if you skateboarded in downtown Philly you might have well sewed a scarlet letter (or skateboard?) across your chest. The Street administration implanted metal cleats on railings and benches at Dilworth Plaza to deter skateboarders in March 2004. A couple of months later, the Street administration declined a $1M offer from a California company that offered the money in exchange for a ban on skating in Love Park to be lifted.
Despite all this, plans for a Franklin Paine’s Park skate park along the Schuylkill River were announced a year later. And a mere eight years after that announcement, Paine’s Park is more than halfway constructed, according to Claire Laver, executive director of Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund.
According to Laver, the park should be completed by late spring or early summer. Workers…
Now that attempts to transform a large vacant Spring Garden Street building into a single family home have petered out, a proposal is on the table for the site to become a daycare center. The other day, we spotted an orange zoning application in the window of 2225 Spring Garden St., a historic building despite that fact that it was built in 1958. The zoning notice indicated a ZBA hearing on March 20th for a ground floor daycare, an apartment above, and signage.
“That’s it in a nutshell,” said Stephen Pollock, the attorney representing the interested party. A hand applied stick it note on the application listed Pollock’s number and said to call with any questions.
We imagine that this proposal will be supported at the ZBA, though we could fathom neighbor concerns about added traffic from a daycare. On…
For years, an embarrassing jungle has been the status quo at 23rd & Brandywine, a corner that’s steps away from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Over a year ago, we first told you about plans from Loonstyn Properties to build four homes at this site and rehab a dilapidated shell that was being devoured by some aggressive ivy. Over the summer, we updated you that Loonstyn was negotiating with the neighborhood association, and had cleared the land but still had not broken ground.
Over a year ago
Last week, however, a reader checked in and gave us the heads up that construction was well underway at this intersection. We took a jaunt over there to take a look and
The Philadelphia skyline as seen from I-76 East or Kelly Drive could look far different a decade from now. The entire dynamic of the city could change if some sort of connector could be built between the Art Museum area and 30th Street Station.
How such a connector might be envisioned and constructed is an item that will be explored as part of a multi-million dollar feasibility study conducted by Drexel University in conjunction with Amtrak and SEPTA, announced this month.
The huge area in question
On the ground
Drexel’s entrepreneurial president John Fry shared his vision to develop the 96-acre Schuylkill Rail Yards at 30th Street Station during a recent meeting. Fry envisions the development could be the anchor for Philadelphia’s economy for the next hundred years. It would strive to connect West Philadelphia with northwestern…
When Rocky ascended the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1976, he assured the iconic structure’s permanent place in pop culture lure. Had the Italian Stallion attempted the feat 80 years prior, he might have drowned . . . and sullied our water supply to boot. Where the majestic Greek-revivalist building now stands at 26th & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, overlooking Center City and providing one of our most postcard-worthy vistas, the Fairmount Reservoir once functioned as the city’s primary water supply.
Back in the day
The image here, provided by Workshop of the World, depicts the Fairmount Water Works complex on the east bank of the Schuylkill River in the mid-19th century. With construction beginning in 1812, the Water Works would come to be seen as an engineering marvel. Visitors from around the world came to behold its pumps, its engine-houses…
At the X-Games in 1999, Tony Hawk landed what history now documents as the first successful 900—two-and-a-half full rotations—after 10 failed attempts. The message? Keep goin’, kid.
Kids (well, any capable person) in West Philly will soon have a chance to practice their aerial twists on skateboards thanks to a $100K grant from the Knight Foundation as part of the second Knights Arts Challenge Philadelphia, which awarded $2.76M this year for arts programs around the city.
The money will mean community engagement and a revitalization (yes, we love that word) of vacant or underused recreational facilities, according to Claire Laver, executive director of Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund (the folks behind the Paine’s Park skate park designed to be built in the shadow of the art museum, perhaps by next spring).
“I’m not sure where the creative process will lead us,” said Laver.
Before that, FPSF…