On Pine Street, The Crossroads Of Preservation And Sustainability

 

A view of 1722 Pine Street. the historically designated residence of architects Laura Blau and Paul Thompson, who want their home to comply with "passive house standards" in energy efficiency. | Photo: Ashley Hahn, for Eyes on the Street, Plan Philly

A view of 1722 Pine Street. the historically designated residence of architects Laura Blau and Paul Thompson, who want their home to comply with “passive house standards” in energy efficiency. | Photo: Ashley Hahn, for Eyes on the Street, Plan Philly

  • Eyes on the Street editor Ashley Hahn considers the efforts of two architects, Laura Blau and Paul Thompson, to raise awareness of the moral imperative that is seeking “passive house standards,” or the substantial reduction of heating and cooling energy used, mostly inefficiently, for homes. Their historically designated four-story brick rowhouse at 1722 Pine Street, notes Hahn, provides a test case of how the often unnatural marriage between historical preservation and energy conservation might be affected in Philadelphia. The Historical Commission has green-lighted, though subject to final approval, the replacement of their home’s windows with more efficient yet aesthetically similar alternatives; commissioners are still not sold on dramatic alterations to the brickwork on the rear of the residence, which Blau and Thompson argue is failing despite their careful remediation.
  • The Greater Philadelphia region continues to attract record numbers of visitors each year, says Visit Philadelphia, per a newly released report from Econsult Solutions. The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Kenneth Hilario breaks down the key findings: in 2015, some 41 million came to the five-county region, spending $6.7 billion and, indirectly, generating about $10.7 billion in total economic impact.
  • Thanks to a $1 million grant from the William Penn Foundation, Chester A. Arthur Elementary School at 21st & Catharine Streets in Graduate Hospital broke ground this morning on an interactive STEM-centric outdoor classroom space, which CBS Philly reports will include art panels, sundial, and a rain garden.
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.

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