After 16-Year Hiatus, Mid-century Public Art To Return To Public View

 

“Free Interpretation of Plant Forms” takes shape as Harry Bertoia and his studio assistant weld copper pipes in Bally, PA, 1966 | Photo courtesy of HarryBertoia Foundation

  • Tomorrow morning the grounds of Chestnut Hill’s Woodmere Museum will witness its latest installation: furniture designer Harry Bertoia’s 1967 14’ by 12’  sculpture “Free Interpretation of Plant Forms,” which has sat next to a police station in North Philadelphia since being removed from the grounds of the Philadelphia Civic Center prior to that building’s demolition in 2000. The New York Times says the sculpture will become the centerpiece to the museum’s six acres of lawn that fronts Germantown Avenue, and will be better connected to its natural setting and admirers than was possible at its old municipal home.
  • A tentative agreement has been reached in Point Breeze between the developers and neighbors of the shuttered Walter Smith School allowing for its conversion into residential units, reports Jacob Adelman for The Inquirer. Concordia Group’s concessions include: 10,000 square feet of the facility’s 64,500 square feet to be set aside for later reuse for a charter school, the marketing of 20% of its eventual number of units as affordable housing, and the occasional use of its parking lot by a nearby church. Still, some Point Breeze residents dislike the residential reuse plan.
  • Naked Philly cues us into the fight to preserve an 80+ year-old tree near 2nd & Manton Streets in Pennsport where a newly purchased adjacent lot is so diminutive that the tree will likely need to be cut down. While this could be seen as an admirable civic campaign for streetscape aesthetics and urban tree canopy if it wasn’t so obviously self-serving, the blog feels that the lawyers will have an easy enough time in deflecting the motion when it comes up at next month’s ZBA meeting.
  • Mayor Jim Kenney announced yesterday that nine schools public schools—including the elementary schools Cramp, Edmunds, Gideon, Logan and Southwark, and the high schools Dobbins, South Philly and Kensington Health Sciences, and Tilden Middle School—will double as community centers by offering its disadvantaged neighborhoods vision and dental care, adult literacy and legal help, reports CBS Philly’s Pat Loeb.
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
Demolition Proposal For Chinatown Landmark Triggers Public Outcry

Demolition Proposal For Chinatown Landmark Triggers Public Outcry

February 21, 2019  |  News

A demolition permit application for the former Chinese Cultural and Community Center on 10th Street provokes confusion and anger. Michael Bixler has the news > more

Sharswood Tour Spotlights African American Landmark

Sharswood Tour Spotlights African American Landmark

February 19, 2019  |  News

Efforts to save the former home and studio of Philadelphia Black Renaissance artist Dox Thrash will take center stage with a neighborhood tour and discussion. Kessler Thibert has the story > more

Exhuming A Pyramid Of Petrol Along The

Exhuming A Pyramid Of Petrol Along The “Golden Mile”

February 15, 2019  |  Vantage

Greg Prichard takes us on a suburban expedition to find Vincent Kling's lost, modernist gas station on City Avenue > more

Conkling-Armstrong House & Jewelers Row District Go Before Designation Committee

Conkling-Armstrong House & Jewelers Row District Go Before Designation Committee

February 12, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has this roundup of local register nominations on the agenda at the February meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

Under Construction: Charles Library At Temple University

Under Construction: Charles Library At Temple University

February 8, 2019  |  Last Light

Something Snøhetta this ways comes. Michael Bixler takes us to the quad at Temple University where its new library is currently taking shape > more

A Life Of Community Service For Theaters In North Philly

A Life Of Community Service For Theaters In North Philly

February 6, 2019  |  Vantage

The legendary Uptown Theater is gearing up for its 90th anniversary this month with a new fundraising campaign and the lighting of its original marquee. To mark the occasion, cinema scholar Joan McGettigan gives us a social history lesson on the neighborhood movie houses near North Broad Street > more