On South Broad Street, A Lot Of Cool Stuff

On South Broad Street, A Lot Of Cool Stuff

 

South Broad Street's newest (temporary) green space: Pop Up Garden | Image: University of the Arts (Facebook)

South Broad Street’s newest (temporary) green space: Pop Up Garden | Image: University of the Arts (Facebook)

When University of the Arts purchased the five-story City Club in 1987, it had visions of replacing it with a 17-story dormitory for its students. Despite the fact it’s catercorner from the 21-story Atlantic Building and two properties away from the 30-story Center City One, the proposed project was rejected by neighbors who protested its scale. (The lot, at 313 South Broad Street, is currently zoned C4: multi-story office.) Nearly twenty years after the City Club was demolished, the lot remains vacant.

But what a lot it is! The space has been put to good use by creative minds, occasionally closing the glaring gap on the Avenue of the Arts. At the 2008 Design Philadelphia festival, A Clean Break activated the space with a pop up neighborhood; at the just-ended PIFA festival, trapeze artists attracted audiences with Flying High, a grand finale to Fly School Circus Arts’ temporary trapeze school set up on the lot. And now, the empty lot becomes the South Broad summer space.

Directly across the street from the Kimmel Center, Pop Up Garden will feature a beer garden and casual fare from acclaimed chef George Sabatino. Now in its third year, it’s an elaboration of the past Pop Up Gardens at Rittenhouse Square (the Castleway lot) and Market Street (the erstwhile Blue Cross twin tower).

This year’s garden is a collaboration of University of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and Avram Hornik’s Four Corners Management, who operates Morgan’s Pier, where Sabatino is chef. The space’s design comes from Groundswell Design Group, who have included repurposed shipping containers and pallets, as well as trees and plantings from PHS.

Pop Up Garden officially opens to the public on Monday (May 20), and a formal reception will happen on May 29, after which time food and beverage service begins. It will remain open through October.

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland OR, Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.



2 Comments


  1. Worth mentioning it was an illegal demo – i.e. no permit and in the middle of the night at 3 am – and the President of UArts at the time (1993) lost his job over the fiasco.

    If you want to build a 17 story dorm that requires a variance, maybe not go with the illegal demo in the middle of the night, as it will annoy your neighbors.

  2. This is wonderful , every time I pass that lot i can’t help but wonder why isn’t it developed . It’ll get a lot of attention .

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Shaping A New Urban Crossroads At 33rd And Chestnut

Shaping A New Urban Crossroads At 33rd And Chestnut

January 18, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Ann de Forest stands at the confluence of Penn and Drexel's campuses where a once listless intersection is being redefined with energy, connectivity, and strategic design > more

The Best Seats In The City, Ban Be Damned

The Best Seats In The City, Ban Be Damned

January 16, 2017  |  Buzz

Last week Friends of Rittenhouse Square and PPR announced a ban from sitting on the interior walls of the park. Two days later Mayor Jim Kenney reversed the rule. We take a look at life along the balustrades in these old photos > more

Capturing The Ghosts Of Demolition

Capturing The Ghosts Of Demolition

January 13, 2017  |  Last Light

The demolition composites of photographer Andrew Evans beguile the eye with ghostly images of a city passing through time. Evans presents his newest additions to the series and explains his process with this photo essay > more

Pencoyd Bridge Reopens In Manayunk, As Redevelopment Of Foundry Site Begins

Pencoyd Bridge Reopens In Manayunk, As Redevelopment Of Foundry Site Begins

January 11, 2017  |  Vantage

The deserted industrial site of Pencoyd Iron Works is next on a growing list of riverside redevelopment along the Schuylkill. Contributor Mick Ricereto takes us deep inside the history of the family-owned foundry and farmland that dates back to the city's founding > more

Urban Fantasy: The Carousel Maker Of Broad & Erie

Urban Fantasy: The Carousel Maker Of Broad & Erie

January 10, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

Traditional carousel design may have roots in Europe, but "Philadelphia Style" took the amusement ride to a whole new level. The Shadow takes a stroll down Germantown Avenue where the G.A. Dentzel Carousel Company became the gold standard in animal kingdom merry-go-rounds > more

Lost Buildings Of 2016

Lost Buildings Of 2016

December 30, 2016  |  Vantage

That cheery, time-honored tradition: the year-end list. Here on the Daily, that means a roundup of the year's demolitions in our World Heritage City. Brad Maule finds 2016's list warrants more than just a top ten > more