When Good Urbanism Meets Bad Architecture

 

Rendering of the Mormon temple, meeting house and apartment tower | Via philly.com

Rendering of the Mormon temple, meeting house and apartment tower | Via philly.com

Inga Saffron confronts “a difficult conundrum” in her consideration of the Mormon Church’s plan to construct two stylistically anachronistic buildings at 16th & Vine, all while exhibiting high-urbanism and a respectable degree of civic mindedness and pride in its work.”The collection of architectural pastiches [from Robert Stern] promises to be one of the weirder ensembles produced in 21st-century America outside of Las Vegas,” she says. Yet for all it’s sentimentality for the 1720s and 1920s, “these developments are evidence that Philadelphia is emerging, after years of struggle, as a dynamic, modern urban center.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal has additional detail on the residential tower Brickstone Realty Co. is proposing to build on top of the historic Lit Bros. building at 7th and Market, a story first reported Wednesday in the Hidden City Daily. Historical Commission staff is still reviewing the plans. “It’s a complicated,” Historical Commission Executive Director Jon Farnham told the Journal. “The staff here hasn’t come to a conclusion.”

According to NewsWorks, attendees of Tuesday’s meeting of the Blue Bell Civic Association
agreed to create a unified list of concerns related to PennDOT’s plan to close Mt. Airy’s Walnut Lane Bridge for six months in 2015 during an estimated $8-$10 million redesign. Many feel that bottlenecks on the bridge would be a constant problem.

From 11AM to 1PM tomorrow, GRAY AREA will host an open house at 2013 Hidden City Festival site Hawthorne Hall, “intended to reveal the interior of this vacant [West Philly] landmark and to launch a public dialogue about its role in the community and possible future, all with an eye to innovation and provocative thinking.”

The 9th street Business Association–having taken over the street vendors licensing in the Italian Market from the city on the first of the year–is promoting the the infill of stalls, hoping “to attract new vendors that will complement the existing mix of businesses already on South 9th Street,” reports Eyes on the Street.

About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
Building A Better Future With Bright Common

Building A Better Future With Bright Common

May 19, 2017  |  Vantage

Hidden City editor Michael Bixler catches up with sustainable architect Jeremy Avellino to talk climate change, deep energy retrofits, and the power of passive house building. > more

Restoration Project Gives New Life To Ben Franklin's Grave

Restoration Project Gives New Life To Ben Franklin’s Grave

May 17, 2017  |  News

Benjamin Franklin's tombstone gets some desperately needed TLC. Tyler Horst has the story > more

Summoning The Spirit Of A Victorian Masterpiece

Summoning The Spirit Of A Victorian Masterpiece

May 15, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

Gone, but not forgotten. The Shadow channels the ghost of the Henry J. Morton Guild House, a beautiful Victorian hall designed by famed Philadelphia architects Wilson Brothers & Company > more

The Making (And Marketing) Of The Modern Gayborhood

The Making (And Marketing) Of The Modern Gayborhood

May 12, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Kelson Northeimer takes a look at the history of the Gayborhood and its cultural transformation through lifestyle marketing and gentrification > more

Hidden Lens: Fading Industry On The Delaware River

Hidden Lens: Fading Industry On The Delaware River

May 10, 2017  |  Hidden Lens

In this next installment of Hidden Lens, a new series showcasing the captures of local photographers, we feature the work of Betsy Manning and the final days of the Port Richmond Grain Elevator > more

Film Center At International House Set To Expand

Film Center At International House Set To Expand

May 8, 2017  |  Walk the Walk

After 40 years of screening independent films, the theater at International House expands programming and gets a new name. Joe Brin takes a look at Lightbox Film Center > more