Just about anyone who’s walked around Philadelphia for a day would agree that we live in a city of murals. Whether they’re sprucing up blank walls downtown or serving as placeholders until vacant land can be developed, these works of public art make our city more vibrant, more interesting, and more cultured. In addition, the Mural Arts Program has impacted the lives of thousands of kids over the years, working both as an educational institution and as a community service program for juvenile delinquents.
Winter: Crystal Snowscape in Bella Vista
We mostly find ourselves reporting on murals being covered up by new development, like “Autumn,” once located two blocks away from the mural pictured above, or the Noam Chomsky mural now covered on Fairmount Avenue. So it brings us special pleasure to take the opposite approach today and tell…
In Francisville, the development seems to keep on coming. From four quadplexes at 16th and Poplar, to the major 55-unit Project H.O.M.E. development at Fairmount & Ridge, to a 35-unit development around 19th and Poplar, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. And as we were checking out the progress of some of these larger developments, we spotted a row of fluorescent orange ZBA apps posted at a vacant lot at 19th & Brown.
The project seeks to create four new triplexes, each one with its own roof deck and pilot house. The lots are owned by the Loonstyns, the developers responsible for the 35 aforementioned units and various other local projects, like the one developed last year at Fairmount and Uber Streets, where Mughsots now occupies a ground-floor retail location. Loonstyn Development acquired the four properties for $440K last July, according to public…
One of the most appealing off the main thoroughfare neighborhood parks we’ve encountered in a while, sits in West Philly at the corner of 48th and Chester streets, locked up and largely unused.
Squirrel Hill Falls Park was envisioned by local artist Danielle Rousseau Hunter. It’s a cozy forest-like corner pocket lot with a waterfall mural on its back wall. From the mid-80s until the mid-90s, Rousseau Hunter spearheaded efforts that corralled resources of neighbors and city and state offices, to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, including donations to design and complete the park. But its use ultimately became a neighborhood saga, according to this 1996 City Paper article.
The article describes Rousseau Hunter as a community activist who was tough against blight and big on transforming properties.…
Last spring, we told you about plans for a nice new building on a long-vacant lot on the northeast corner of 19th & Fairmount. We hadn’t seen any progress at the site in the half a year since. That is, until the other day.
In the past
The other day
Yes folks, ground has broken at 1833-39 Fairmount Ave., where we spotted a growing hole in the ground a couple of days ago. In case you don’t recall, this project will include a four story building with fifteen rental apartments, seven onsite parking spaces, and a grocery/sandwich shop/cafe space, a la DiBruno Brothers. Canno Architecture & Design are the architects on the project, and here are some drawings, in case you forgot what this place is gonna look like.…
We’d imagine many of you recall the controversy that was set off last winter when a developer purchased the vacant lot on the corner of 9th & Bainbridge, and proposed a new home that would cover “Autumn,” a beloved mural. In the end, the developer built the home, and the mural is now lost.
So you can imagine what came into our minds the other day when we were in the neighborhood and spotted zoning notices at 10th & Bainbridge, on the site of another David Guinn mural.
Upon closer inspection, the zoning notices are alerting to community to plans to legalize the parking lot on the site, rather than build a new home to cover up the mural. Bella Vistans rejoice, “Winter: Crystal Snowscape” is here to stay!
A few months ago, we reported on a much-needed mural coming to the side of a vacant building in Queen Village. That art project got underway last week, and the butterfly-themed painting will have lots of little eyes on it if/when a planned daycare opens next door.
The former Verte Couture Fabrics and Leather at 770 S. Fourth St., at Fulton Street, has been under construction on and off for several months, with permits pulled for electrical, plumbing, HVAC work and general interior and exterior improvements in the windows.
In the meantime, Conrad Booker, the local artist whose work already decorates a few locations in Queen Village and Headhouse Square, began priming his canvas and painting a white frame on the north wall of the building where the daycare center will eventually live. The Queen…