Eulogizing Vacant Homes Through Art

 

ATLAS OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA (WEST PHILADELPHIA), 1927 (from Flying Kite Media)

ATLAS OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA (WEST PHILADELPHIA), 1927 (from Flying Kite Media)

  • Flying Kite discusses Temple Contemporary’s “Funeral for a Home,” an art-advocacy project that incorporates “elements of oral history and community engagement” in a ceremonial celebration of a vacant Mantua row home prior to its demolition and eventual redevelopment by holder West Philadelphia Real Estate. “A team consisting of artists, historians and architects is gathering stories and data from the surrounding neighborhood and trying to track down relatives of old inhabitants.”
  • By year’s end, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. expects final approval for a package of bills and resolutions that would strengthen the Department of Licenses and Inspections’ ability to regulate demolition projects. Contractors applying for a demolition permit would have to provide a site safety plan and undergo 30 hours of OSHA training. L&I inspectors in turn would be given increased access to the work site, and attain the right to issue stop-work and cease-operations orders. (Philadelphia Inquirer.)
  • “In a stunning 103-98 vote,” the Pennsylvania House failed to pass the much needed $2.3 billion transportation bill that would have tended to the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation and ward off SEPTA’s “doomsday budget,” reports the Inquirer. Republican opponents to the legislation balked at the perceived tax increases, while the Democrats who helped bring the bill to its defeat cited the inclusion of an amendment that would alter prevailing-wage laws.
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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