A Missed Opportunity For One Forgotten Center City Neighborhood


Rendering courtesy of spg3 architects

Rendering courtesy of spg3 architects

  • In her “Changing Skyline” column for The Inquirer, Inga Saffron laments the decreasing willingness of the Historical Commission “to protect the public patrimony” by withstanding misguided notions of adaptive reuse. In a case of lazy stewardship strongly reminiscent of the Boyd Theater, the commission is set to okay Baywood Hotels’ plans to plop a nine-story tower atop the 1946 two-story Art Deco Warner Bros. film exchange building at 13th & Florist (the city’s first post-Second World War structure to be historically designated). Even granting that, spg3’s design speaks more for 1932 than for 2014, she says. An impressive modern design for the vertical addition could have catalyzed its neighborhood (that the later Center City boom seemed to forget) in emerging “as a new neighborhood, an arts district, or a center for tech startups.”
  • As D3 Real Estate puts the finishing touches on its $36 million Oxford Mills in South Kensington, the Philadelphia Business Journal stops by to get a sense of why its innovative, education-centric business model has proven itself “so far an early success.”Over 75% of Oxford Mills’ 114-units have already been leased out, says D3 principal Greg Hill. “While the rental numbers and other indicators show this type of special development can work, Hill is hesitant to say whether it can be easily replicated.” He says, “it’s a delicate balance. You have to have the right site, the right neighborhood…It’s a very challenging type of project.”
  • Plan Philly takes note of yesterday’s first official public meeting for the long-sought central Land Bank,a ten-minute affair that saw the unanimous election of its first board members.
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
Confusion And Quibbling At Mayor's Preservation Task Force Meeting

Confusion And Quibbling At Mayor’s Preservation Task Force Meeting

March 15, 2018  |  News

Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force convened today following the release of a draft of a summary of summaries on the state of preservation in Philadelphia. Logistical bickering and sticker activities ensued. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

Remembering Philly's 1967 School Walkout & The Attack On Teen Activism

Remembering Philly’s 1967 School Walkout & The Attack On Teen Activism

March 13, 2018  |  Vantage

On the eve of the national student walkout honoring the victims of the Parkland shooting, Michael Bixler takes a look back at November 17, 1967 when teenage activists demonstrating for equal rights became the target of a violent police attack > more

Oscar's Tavern Still Parties Like It's 1972

Oscar’s Tavern Still Parties Like It’s 1972

March 12, 2018  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow saddles up to the bar at Oscar's Tavern where the spirit of "Old Philadelphia" is as effervescent as their lagers > more

Back When We Burned Trash On The Delaware River

Back When We Burned Trash On The Delaware River

March 9, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a whirlwind exploration of Philadelphia's notorious garbage problem, starting with the long-gone East Central Incinerator at Penn's Landing and then sailing around the globe before returning to today's trashy situation > more

Historic Freight Station Lives Again At Lincoln Square

Historic Freight Station Lives Again At Lincoln Square

March 7, 2018  |  News

Michael Bixler gives us a peek inside the old PW&B train shed under construction at Broad Street and Washington Avenue. The former freight station is currently being converted into a grocery store, part of the rising mixed-use development Lincoln Square > more

Frances Anne Wister: Philadelphia’s Patron Saint of Historic Preservation

Frances Anne Wister: Philadelphia’s Patron Saint of Historic Preservation

March 5, 2018  |  Vantage

In honor of Women's History Month, Mickey Herr pays tribute to Frances Anne Wister, Philadelphia's first historic preservation activist > more