Community Meeting Reveals Widespread Indignation With Jewelers Row Demolition

 

Jewelers Row storefront window, looking east | Plan Philly

Jewelers Row storefront window, looking east | Photo: PlanPhilly

  • Jake Blumgart at PlanPhilly recounts last night’s emotional Washington Square West Civic Association zoning meeting, in which about 70 people decried the Toll Brothers planned demolition of part of Jewelers Row. Especially disquieting to the merchants in attendance was the developers’ pitch that the street needs such a drastic economic intervention to sustain its viability. “This is a viable street,” said Frank Schaffer, who lives and works on there. “It’s a living breathing thing.” No representative from Toll Brothers was sent to engage with the incensed crowd, although a statement was read that assured attendees that the firm is “committed to delivering a residential building that is respectful of the history of Jewelers’ Row while rejuvenating it for the future.”
  • Next month Florida-based Frank Entertainment Co. will open “Revolutions,” a 52,000-square-foot sports bar and grille concept at 1009 Canal Street in the upcoming Penn Treaty Village, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal. The 26-lane boutique bowling alley will include a burger and beer restaurant and “flair” bar. Come next spring it will be joined by another Frank Entertainment property: a 14-screen, full service (“dine and recline”) movie theater. “We’re opening in phases to get people recognizing Northern Liberties and Fishtown is where you want to live, recreate, dine, raise your families and be,” explains owner Bruce Frank said. “This is the millennial world right there.”
  • The Knight Foundation’s John Bracken and Eva Pereira argue in a NewsWorks editorial that American urban library systems are at a critical juncture. Citing initiatives undertaken in Dallas, Chicago, and New York, Bracken, and Pereira promote cross-sector partnerships, more effective fundraising campaigns, and an expanded conception of what services a public library can offer. In “the last two years Knight Foundation has awarded $10.2 million in support to more than 40 projects to strengthen libraries focused on libraries’ efforts to succeed in this new age.”
  • Curbed Philly updates us on developer Myron J. Berman’s residential conversion of what was originally a Cadillac garage at 142 North Broad Street. The design, from BLT Architects, adds a four-story to the current six-story garage, complimenting the rooflines of its neighbors—the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a parking garage—and allowing for 101 units in total.
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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