Previewing Another Rebirth For The Black Bottom

 

“A second office tower, to include residences and retail, at 37th and Warren, has sexy angles and a solar- panel-embedded facade,” writes The Inquirer’s Inga Saffron. | Rendering: ZGF Architects

“A second office tower, to include residences and retail, at 37th and Warren, has sexy angles and a solar- panel-embedded facade,” writes The Inquirer’s Inga Saffron. | Rendering: ZGF Architects

  • Inga Saffron offers a nuanced contemplation of the future of the neighborhood once known as the “Black Bottom,” disastrously transformed into a superblock—and the recently demolished University City High School—a half-century ago in keeping with the then vogue trends of wholesale urban renewal. Come March, developers Wexford Science + Technology and the University City Science Center will start to break up this unworkable superblock, returning 37th and Cuthbert Streets back to the grid, and filling it with an variety of uses. Yet the architectural critic is frustrated by the lack of required affordable residential units, uninspired by the development’s name, and rendered ambivalent by this cacophony of architectural rhythms.
  • Plan Philly’s Jared Brey breaks down the set of local projects to be funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ $28 million grant announced yesterday for parks and recreation projects across Pennsylvania. Of the $2.7 million coming to Philly, $400,000 will go toward the designing of the Spring Garden Greenway, a transformative vision for that street’s medians, from river to river; $350,000 to acquire land along the Tacony Creek; $300,000 will go to improvements to South Philly’s Columbus Square Park; and much more.
  • In a joint press conference with Mayor Jim Kenney, officials from the Democratic National Convention Committee announced yesterday their willingness to address any concerns that the Philadelphia restaurant industry might have during the lead up to the July gathering at the Wells Fargo Center, says the Business Journal. All told, some $350 million is expected to pour into the local economy, a figure that, considering the periodic and sedentary nature of political conventions, is surer to be more accurate than the overly optimistic figures promised with the papal visit.
  • City Controller Alan Butkovitz is touting the efficiency of drones in assisting with the routine inspection of city buildings, roads, rails, and ecological conditions. The technology can “complete a visual inspection of 56 homes across one city block in as little as 30 seconds,” says the Business Journal.
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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