In The Schuylkill’s Weeds

 

Adam Lutz and Efrain Santiago assist in Al Wachin’s struggle against Eurasian milfoil. | Photo: Ed Hille, for philly.com

Adam Lutz and Efrain Santiago assist in Al Wachin’s struggle against Eurasian milfoil. | Photo: Ed Hille, for Philly.com

  • Floating on a barge in the Schuylkill, above the dam at the Waterworks, Al Wachin, 77, a former rower for Penn, and his two workers scrape the riverbed with a 6-foot steel bar, collecting from it accumulated mounds of Eurasian water milfoil. The invasive species of vegetation has given the Schuylkill River a film of lime-green sludge, clogging engine propellers, tipping kayaks, and affecting regattas. This year’s crop of river weeds is the worst in Walchin’s memory. Jason Nark conveys his Sisyphean task, which will have to do until the Army Corps of Engineers can get the estimated $4.7 million it would need to dredge this cargo-less section of the river. Complete and sustained eradication is hopeless, however Drexel botanist Alfred E. Schuyler contends that the green-lining offers a silver one: at least we know that water quality is improving.
  • Naked Philly considers the proposed conversion of the former Convent for the Holy Name of Jesus Church (1924) at 1420-22 Susquehanna Avenue into nine apartment units, a plan which, having not fared too well against the votes of a density-adverse community last month, is at the mercy of Zoning Board of Adjustments. The blog suggests forgoing Fishtowners’ recommendations, reasoning that the project now on the table is the parcel’s only economical option for the 11,000-square-feet building, which still has much of its “original details, like stained glass windows, woodwork, tin ceilings, and an old staircase”. Short of the necessary variances, demolition, with replacement by two mansions, would seem likely.
  • A moribund U.S. Postal Service announced yesterday that it plans to right-size its operations by closing three Philadelphia post offices in favor of smaller options nearby, reports The Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman. These include the Paschall branch in Southwest Philly, the Schuylkill branch in South Philly, and, most notably, the New Deal-Era William Penn Annex in the Robert Nix Federal Building at 9th & Market.
  • The first four of SEPTA’s 120 Silverliner IV train cars have been repaired and were reintroduced this morning to its active fleet, says CBS Philly. “The transit agency says they hope to have enough cars to return to a normal weekday schedule on the Regional Rails by October 3rd.”
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
A Fine And Public Space: Preservationists Revive Philadelphia's Historic Cemeteries As Vibrant Spaces For The Living

A Fine And Public Space: Preservationists Revive Philadelphia’s Historic Cemeteries As Vibrant Spaces For The Living

May 21, 2019  |  Vantage

New life is blooming at Philadelphia's historic cemeteries. Starr Herr-Cardillo has the story > more

Appetite For Deconstruction: North Philly Nonprofit Tackles Three Pressing Issues With One Program

Appetite For Deconstruction: North Philly Nonprofit Tackles Three Pressing Issues With One Program

May 17, 2019  |  News

Philly Reclaim brings sustainability, historic preservation, and job training together with its architectural salvage program. Kimberly Haas has the story > more

Arson & Archway Raise Awareness Of A 19th Century Architect

Arson & Archway Raise Awareness Of A 19th Century Architect

May 14, 2019  |  Vantage

Pauline Miller takes us on a journey from Old City to Mount Moriah Cemetery where the work of architect Stephen Decatur Button struggles for longevity > more

A Fond Farewell To Paley Library At Temple University

A Fond Farewell To Paley Library At Temple University

May 10, 2019  |  Last Light

Paley Library closed its doors to the public on Thursday after serving Temple University for 53 years. Michael Bixler says goodbye to the mid-century modern library with this photo essay > more

In Kensington, Old Textile Mill To Be Revived With Apartments

In Kensington, Old Textile Mill To Be Revived With Apartments

May 7, 2019  |  Vantage

Gotham Hosiery, once the country's most popular pantyhose manufacturer, quickly rose to fame and crashed even faster. Now, the nearly 100-year-old mill at 2nd and Norris is getting a residential makeover. Rob Masciantonio dives deep into the history of the old textile mill and details on plans for redevelopment > more

Al Capone's Cell At ESP Keeps Conservators On Their Toes

Al Capone’s Cell At ESP Keeps Conservators On Their Toes

May 2, 2019  |  News

At Eastern State Penitentiary, layers of history reveal more mysteries inside a famous gangster's old prison cell. Kimberly Haas has the details > more