Remember the Divine Lorraine? That big, beautiful, abandoned building on North Broad Street that Mayor Nutter said was a cornerstone of Philadelphia’s revival and that developer Eric Blumenfeld has such big dreams for? It was featured yesterday on the national website Web Urbanist, and called, “one of Philadelphia’s most intriguing buildings,” “a Victorian beauty” and “an enticing site for urban exploration.”
Of course, it’s not supposed to be “visited” by urban explorers anymore, but given that its conversion remains stalled, it may only be a matter of time before people find their way inside again. The issue seems to be funding. Blumenfeld has applied for a $7.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program matching fund from the state, but didn’t get it in the first round. We put a call in to see if he wants to talk about the latest.
The WU story ends on a rather bleak note. Rather than mention Blumenfeld’s recent purchase, it says, “Soon, it became home to squatters, and the graffiti began to multiply. Vandals have taken all that could be sold, leaving some rooms no more than skeletons.”
• Eric Blumenfeld Is Crazy Enough to Revitalize North Broad Street [Philadelphia Magazine]
• Abandoned Philadelphia: The Divine Lorraine Hotel [Web Urbanist]