A couple of days ago, we showed you some renderings of a new retail building at 15th & Walnut, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Today, we have another project to bring to your attention from the same architects, this time with a much larger footprint and on the other end of town.
At the corner of 33rd & Walnut, Hill College House stands as a relic to a long-outdated use. Originally built as a women’s dorm, the small windows and drawbridge-like entrance likely did more to assuage parental worries than keep men out of the building after it opened in the 1950s. The building was designed by Eero Saarinen, the guy who designed the Saint Louis Arch, which apparently gets better ventilation than some of the rooms at Hill House. Now a coed dorm, Hill…
The University of Pennsylvania wants you; your opinion that is. Its 2013 Retail Market Survey contains questions that want to know where you shop, what you buy, how much you spend, and how often you do it. Does that sound like big brother to anyone else? Penn also wants to learn about some other places you want to spend your money.
Retail at Penn
The fact that this survey is steeped in questions about retail indicates that retail opportunities are clearly on the minds of the decision makers at Penn. It seems that with the school having recently opened new green spaces like Penn Park and Shoemaker Green, and Spruce Street Plaza, they are now shifting their focus towards retail.
University City is already home to plenty of retail around 39th and 40th and Chestnut and Walnut Streets, from bookstores to cafes to…
If recent awards and recognition are any indication of a city’s character, Philadelphia might be considered a leading American municipality in terms of sustainability and culture.
In addition to Old City being named one of America’s top art places for 2013 by ArtPlace America, Philadelphia was named as the nation’s fifth most walkable city this year by America Walks. And in University City, where major institutions are spearheading development like that part of town was just recently mapped out, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University were named to the 2013 list of Top 20 College and University Green Power Users.
Landscaping in Penn Park
Penn topped the list, with Drexel coming in at ninth. Green power accounts for forty-eight percent of power used by Penn, and Drexel uses 100 percent green energy. Just last year Penn was recognized as the nation’s largest…
Back in September, we told you about plans to convert Lot #8, an unattractive parking lot at HUP’s front door, into a landscaped public green space. Earlier this month, the fences came down, and the Spruce Street Plaza opened its “doors” to the public at last.
In the past
As you can see below, the $2.5M project was a huge success. As expected, the plaza includes benches, new lighting, decorative paving, landscaping, and a (still to come) small lawn area. Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects and Urban Engineers were the designers behind the project, which really changes the feeling of the streetscape for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Entrance to the plaza
Path and benches
Looking toward Franklin Field
And more plantings to come in the Spring!
In some ways,…
A reader gave us the heads up that a new Barre Focus Fitness will soon be arriving at 4145 Chestnut St., in University City. This new business will be taking over a second floor space at the corner, above hookah place Cleopatra Cafe. Smoky workout, anyone?
Future Barre Focus Fitness
Looking around the area, you can see a former diner that was converted into a Halal restaurant many years ago, a car wash that used to look kind of iffy but now looks pretty nice, and a still vacant building that we told you about over a year ago. Also of note is the newish Bikram Yoga studio located immediately next door to the soon-to-open Barre Focus Fitness, also up on the second floor.
Kabobeesh, across the
On Market Street in University City, west of Drexel and beyond, the collegiate fueled capital development begins to fade as you move further west. The University City Science Center is one institution poised, at least theoretically, to improve Market Street between 34th and 39th Streets.
Their recent announcement of a new 11-story tower on the northeast corner of 38th & Market is one step in that direction. But the Science Center’s expansion has unfolded at a slower pace than its planners previously envisioned.
Northeast corner under construction
In May 2010, the Science Center filed a lawsuit against the PRA after the agency attempted to reclaim two parcels of land on the south side of the 3800 block of Market from the institution. The PRA claimed the Center failed to uphold an agreement regarding the…