The Meridian Fire, 25 Years On

 

Firefighters walk into the lobby of One Meridian Plaza a day after the blaze was controlled | Photo: Rick Bowmer, for The Inquirer

Firefighters walk into the lobby of One Meridian Plaza a day after the blaze was controlled | Photo: Rick Bowmer, for The Inquirer

  • It has been a quarter-century since the One Meridian Plaza fire took the lives of three firefighters and scarred Center City for nearly a decade–a reminder of a rare yet devastating defeat, an apt symbol of municipal dysfunction. Philly.com’s Aubrey Whelan speaks with the survivors of the disaster.
  • PlanPhilly’s Ashley Hahn sits down with WHYY’s Dave Heller to discuss the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s transformative vision for eight acres of Sharswood, a $500 million project that will begin in earnest next month with the implosion of the Norman Blumberg Apartments. This will be PHA’s chief focus moving forward, proven by the fact that the agency will eventually move its headquarters here. And although it has employed the traditional tools of urban renewal, PHA’s approach here aims to be more holistic and layered, supporting the remade neighborhood’s economy in the long-term.
  • Flying Kite recounts the $850,000 in improvements made to the Henry C. Lea schoolyard in Walnut Hill. Upgrades include play equipment taken from the closed Alexander Wilson School and set atop permeable rubber surfacing, three rain gardens, and a new entranceway at 47th & Spruce Streets. “It’s pretty dramatic,” says lead project designer Sara Pevaroff Schuh of SALT Design Studio. “It basically went from being a one-acre asphalt schoolyard to…[having] a little urban forest on it now.” The improvements also double outdoor classroom and flexible social space.
  • Locust Moon Comics will present plans at this evening’s Southwest Philadelphia District Services zoning meeting to move into the former St. Peter’s Church of Christ at 47th & Kingsessing Streets, reports West Philly Local. The Frank Furness-design building, saved from demolition in late 2014 by Penn historic preservation professor Aaron Wunsch and former Mayor Wilson Goode Sr., began welcoming its first tenants this winter. 
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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1 Comment


  1. I think you’re missing three zeroes at the end that Sharswood figure, isn’t it $500M?

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