The Unlikely Urbanism Of John Fry

 

"Fry announced plans to convert an area between Drexel's campus and 30th Street Station into a dense neighborhood of businesses, retailers, parks, and residential towers, to be called Schuylkill Yards."

“Fry announced plans to convert an area between Drexel’s campus and 30th Street Station into a dense neighborhood of businesses, retailers, parks, and residential towers, to be called Schuylkill Yards.” | Rendering: SHoP Architects and West 8

  • Before Drexel University president John Fry was pitching the construction of a $3.5 billion neighborhood in University City around and over the railyards there, he was, from 2002-2010, the president of Franklin & Marshall College, leading a $75 million effort to transform the Lancaster school’s Northwest Gateway. To free dozens of acres for redevelopment, Fry and his team saw to the demolition of a factory and the relocation of a railyard, post office, and a landfill of 104,000 tons of trash. The Inquirer’s Susan Snyder sketches Fry’s brand of audacious and untrained urbanism. “We didn’t even dream about the Gateway Project,” said Susan Washburn, who served on the selection committee that hired Fry. “We didn’t even know to dream about it.”
  • Now that Kenyatta Johnson has lost his federal trial against Ori Feibush, Tricia Nadolny surveys City Council members as to any expected changes to the tradition of councilmanic prerogative. For Bill Greenlee, the fact that Council is explicitly a part of the process speaks for itself. Maria Quiñones-Sànchez defends the practice as a check, by officials representative of their communities and adept in understanding their needs, against the deleterious effects sometimes wrought by development. Yet Councilman-turned-Mayor Jim Kenney speaks to its staying power best: “It’s not like we’re going to change Rules 6-3 of the city code. Because it doesn’t exist. It’s in here,” he said, as he pointed to his head.
  • NewsWorks relates City Council President Darrell Clarke’s $100 million proposal—to be paid by a bond sale and a 0.1% increase in the  city’s real estate transfer tax—that would bolster programs that provide home repair loans for low-income residents. “That’s what we want to do — not rehab four or five houses at a time because we’ll never get us to where we need to get,” he said. “There’s a sense of urgency out in a lot of neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.”
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
From <em>Click</em> To Clink: A History Of Mug Shots In The Quaker City

From Click To Clink: A History Of Mug Shots In The Quaker City

September 20, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. gives us the backstory of Philadelphia's Rogues' Gallery, which has been tracking criminals in photographic form since the 1860s > more

Unlisted Philadelphia: Automobile Row

Unlisted Philadelphia: Automobile Row

September 18, 2018  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, he puts the pedal to the metal on Automobile Row > more

Abandoned Navy Hangar Prepares For Final Battle

Abandoned Navy Hangar Prepares For Final Battle

September 14, 2018  |  Last Light

A demolition study for the Mustin Field Seaplane Hangar at the Navy Yard puts a structural engineering landmark on notice. Michael Bixler takes us inside > more

Twitter Bot Reveals Revenue Loss From Tax Abatement

Twitter Bot Reveals Revenue Loss From Tax Abatement

September 13, 2018  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo catches up with the software engineer behind Philly Tax Abatements, a new Twitter account that aggregates the cost of City money lost to the 10-year tax abatement > more

Harvey Finkle: Photographer Seeks Justice For The Other

Harvey Finkle: Photographer Seeks Justice For The Other

September 10, 2018  |  Walk the Walk

New photography exhibition explores South Philly's Jewish communities and the city's transitioning immigrant populations. Joe Brin has the story > more

New Book Gives Insight Into Uncovering Philly History

New Book Gives Insight Into Uncovering Philly History

September 6, 2018  |  Vantage

Mickey Herr sits down with author and Philly historian extraordinaire Kenneth Finkel to discuss his new book, "Insight Philadelphia" > more