Over-Sold & Over-Lit On North Broad

 

"Nighttime shot of masts lit up along Broad and Green Streets." | Photo: Inga Saffron

“Nighttime shot of masts lit up along Broad and Green Streets.” | Photo: Inga Saffron, for The Inquirer

  • As The Inquirer’s Inga Saffron explains, when the Avenue of the Arts finally got around to adopting a master plan for North Broad Street in 2007, the economy soon sputtered. The ambitious $50 million proposal, which was to dramatically improve the pedestrian experience, was subsequently trimmed down to $14 million, and stripped of its meaningful aspirations. The funds have been misspent on 41 glorified highway lights which, she argues, only feed into the corridor’s speeding problems. Finally, we were oversold. “Public art, well chosen, can make us see our city with fresh eyes. But too often, public art fails because we confuse such renderings with reality. It’s true the masts cast a pretty glow at night. But shouldn’t a basic criterion for such projects be that they also look good during the day?”
  • Three and a half years after opening on the Parkway, the Barnes Foundation has had its millionth visitor: Dr. Oliver Brooks, a native Philadelphia now living in California. Will Cary, Director of Visitor Services and Membership credits the Foundation’s focus on programming of late, such as musical performances, lectures, for reaching the milestone as quickly as it has.
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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