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
L&I An Overlooked Asset To Historic Preservation Efforts

L&I An Overlooked Asset To Historic Preservation Efforts

November 16, 2018  |  Vantage

Dana Rice looks at "demolition by neglect" and the potential of the Department of Licenses and Inspections as an unlikely ally in the fight to solve Philly's preservation crisis > more

The Making & Breaking Of The Philadelphia Commercial Museum

The Making & Breaking Of The Philadelphia Commercial Museum

November 14, 2018  |  Vantage

Edward Duffy takes us back when industry, commerce, and foreign trade flooded the halls of the Philadelphia Commercial Museum, the first institution of its kind in the United States > more

Rare Books Department At FLP Examines A City In Transition

Rare Books Department At FLP Examines A City In Transition

November 9, 2018  |  News

Affordable housing, displacement and gentrification, demolition for redevelopment--sounds a lot like today's local headlines, but Philly has been dealing with these issues for decades. This and more is addressed in the new exhibition, "Philadelphia: The Changing City," now on view at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Ali Roseberry-Polier has the review. > more

Dispatch From the Dolomites: Lamenting the Loss of Northern Italy's Philly Twin

Dispatch From the Dolomites: Lamenting the Loss of Northern Italy’s Philly Twin

November 7, 2018  |  Vantage

Contributor Ann de Forest dials home from Italy where she visits a little chapel that, until recently, had a sibling on Christian Street > more

Secluded Stone Stairway On Lincoln Drive Revealed

Secluded Stone Stairway On Lincoln Drive Revealed

November 2, 2018  |  Vantage

A mysterious set of stairs next to Monoshone Creek leads Sharon Barr on a path to uncover its origins > more

The Ghastly Tale Of South Philly’s Cult Of The Holy Ghost

The Ghastly Tale Of South Philly’s Cult Of The Holy Ghost

October 30, 2018  |  Vantage

A secretive cult dedicated to the worship of a Swiss woman met a horrific end in 19th century South Philly. Ryan Briggs unearths the grim details > more