Philadelphia’s Rail Park is an effort by three dedicated Philadelphians to transform an unused rail line into a grand pubic space that connects Fairmount Park to the cultural spine of Philadelphia along the Parkway down to City Hall. The space begins at the far end of Pennsylvania Avenue near 28th Street near Lemon Hill. That’s where a rail line runs underneath a tunnel that heads toward City Hall. Could that tunnel be of one Philadelphia’s next great civic spaces?
Map of the Rail Park
The Friends of Rail Park is the newly rebranded incarnation of the group formerly known as Viaduct Green. The group recently partnered with the OLIN studio to develop a vision for half a mile of the three mile former rail line that begins at Broad Street and runs three blocks west. The group…
It’s likely you’ve never seen this building in person. 1021 Ridge Ave. sits almost on top of the Reading Viaduct, surrounded by other Eraserhood-type buildings. Last week, owners PA Ridge Associates went before the ZBA to get a permit for 28 residential units in this rather large, 54K sqft building.
We’re guessing that the residential conversion took place a few years back, and that this is merely an effort to legalize the existing apartments. In addition, there appear to be commercial spaces on the first floor, but none appear to be filled at this time.
Looking at the GW Bromley Philadelphia Atlas from 1910, the building apparently contained a furniture manufacturer at some point. The Industrial Directory of Pennsylvania, Volume 3, identifies Prouty Co., L.A. Inc as…
Last week, a meeting was hosted at the F.A.C.T. Charter School on the 1000 block of Callowhill Street to discuss big picture planning issues for a large, loosely connected section of the Central District, referred to as the “Chinatown North/Callowhill section.” According to the meeting summary, this area can be separated into five neighborhoods: Poplar, Callowhill, Chinatown North, Superblocks (the area of low-rise buildings and parking lots between Old City and Northern Liberties), and the Waterfront. The results of this meeting, and others like it across town, will be used to inform the larger Phila2035 Central District Plan.
This area, while underpopulated relative to its size (about 7,000 residents), has still seen a 92% population growth over the last twelve years. We’d imagine that a fair number of newer residents, along with folks who…
Back in September, we brought an odd building to your attention in the Loft District. 449 N 13th St. is a new construction building with two condo units that channels the area’s gritty industrial past with bold design choices.
And now, the building immediately to the south, 439-47 N 13th St., looks like its on its way toward redevelopment.
Change is comin'
According to the zoning application, Lofts Development LLC intends to pile two stories on top of the existing building, add bay windows along the 13th St. side and the Hamilton St. side, and create 11 apartment units. The vacant lot next door will contain eight parking spaces.
Future parking lot
This project highlights the increasing desirability of this area. With Prohibition…
As we reported months ago, Union Transfer is coming to the old Spaghetti Warehouse building between 10th and 11th Sts. on Spring Garden. A collaboration between Four Corners Management, R5 Productions, and The Bowery Presents, this medium-sized all-ages music venue should fill a void in Philadelphia. According to the press release, renovations include the addition of a mezzanine level for the 21+ crowd and the removal of original support columns to improve sight lines. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get inside sometime soon to snap some photos to get an idea of the specific architectural challenges being dealt with.
With the ability to accommodate between 600 and 1000 people for a show, and expectations for about 200 shows per year, we foresee a tremendous uptick in activity on Spring Garden St. Llama Tooth…
People go nuts over the idea of the Reading Viaduct being turned into a park, why not double dip and cap 676 with a park that would connect the Viaduct and the Ben Franklin Parkway? We capped over the Pennsylvania Ave. Trench, why not 676?
The Pennsylvania Ave. Trench. Can't see it, right? And that's the point. Image from Google.
The Vine Street Expressway, all 1.9 miles of it, took decades to get off the ground. After the completion of the Ben Franklin Bridge in 1926, all the traffic coming over the bridge from New Jersey was getting stuck on Vine St. A state highway was proposed that would have been very similar to the configuration used for Roosevelt Blvd., with a surface road with green space in the median and along the sides, but by the time it was being built in 1949-1951,…