Morning Headlines: Art Commission Approves Stern Redesign of Museum of American Revolution

Former rendering of the future museum.

Former rendering of the future museum.

It’s not set in stone, but the redesign of the Museum of the American Revolution has received approval from Philadelphia’s Art Commission, which sent Robert A.M. Stern architects back to the drawing board last February. Can you spot the differences between the old design (above) and the new one below?:

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NoLibs Neighbors Split Down Middle on Dwell

The warehouse that would be demolished if Dwell Northern Liberties gets built. Photo: Sandy Smith.

The warehouse that would be demolished if Dwell Northern Liberties gets built. Photo: Sandy Smith.

It might seem strange that in the neighborhood the Piazza finally put on the map once and for all, residents still have problems swallowing large apartment buildings.

But it took Bart Blatstein about two years and dozens of meetings like the one the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association held on March 26 to get the Piazza into its final form. And if that March 26 meeting is any guide, NoLibs resident Clay Chandler, CEO of The Klein Company, can expect to have several more himself before his company’s Dwell Northern Liberties development finally makes its way through the zoning variance gauntlet.

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Morning Headlines: Building Artwork Collapses in Chinatown

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Screenshot of the artwork at 9th and Race via Google Street View

Tenants living on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of a building on the corner of 9th and Race must have had a rude awakening this morning. At about 4:30am, a piece of artwork attached to the side of the building collapsed and shattered on the sidewalk.

Although there were no injuries, occupants were evacuated as a precaution. L&I was also on the scene, assessing damage to the structure and making sure it was safe.

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Morning Headlines: New Plan for Proposed Condo Complex on Clark Park

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue. Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue.
Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

A proposal for a mixed-use complex at 43rd and Baltimore on Clark Park presented during a recent Spruce Hill Community Association meeting was generally well-received, save for a few dissenting voices against its design. The project, which is set to include 132 units and 17,000 square feet of commercial space, is intended to attract young professionals.

The property’s owner, Clarkmore Group, has plans for a restaurant, owner-occupied condos going down 43rd, and taller apartment rentals further east on Baltimore, which would also house a 10,000-square-foot fitness center on the first floor. Underground parking (65 spaces) and indoor bike parking (50 spaces) would also be available.

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A Builder’s Personal Palace Becomes Apartments With Personality

Original wood flooring. Photo: Sandy Smith.

Original wood flooring. Photo: Sandy Smith.

One of the really cool things about adapting old structures to new uses is that a little of their original personality rubs off on their new function. For a prime example of this, we can turn to 2013 Spruce Street, an 1868 Second Empire townhome now in the home stretch of being converted to 12 rental apartments by property manager AMC Delancey Companies.

2013 Spruce is the largest of a row of mansard-roofed mansions built by Ebenezer Burgess Warren and sold to some of the most prosperous Philadelphians of his time. Warren built 2013 as his own residence, and he had some pretty impressive neighbors: shipbuilder Randolph Wood, broker Joseph Seaver, machinists’ tool maker Walter K. Ludwig and jeweler G.W. Banks of Bailey, Banks and Biddle fame.

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Awesome New Postgreen Homes Coming to Fishtown

awesometown rendering

Awesometown rendering via Postgreen Homes website.

The folks at Postgreen Homes have a penchant for coming up with clever, cutesy names for their developments. ReNewbold. Duplexcellence. Avant Garage. And a project of cork-clad homes called – what else? – “Pop!” They also are on a mission to prove that building green shouldn’t cost a lot, a mission they embarked on with their very first project, the $100k House. Postgreen’s newest project, four years in the making, is something of an apotheosis of both corporate traits, then.

First of all, it has a name that sounds like it was coined by a teenage boy: Awesometown.

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And Brewerytown Is Still Booming!

rendering girard27_1-660x395

Rendering of the proposed Girard27 via Hidden City.

Looks like Brewerytown Living is going to have to update this map soon. In a partnership between developer MMPartners and lot owner Adco American Development, a proposal was brought forth for the double development of a 20-year-old vacant lot at 27th and Girard. However, before anything can happen, zoning variances must be granted for the two projects, which are planned for concurrent construction at the end of this year (or beginning of 2015).

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Morning Headlines: Philadelphia Could Get Grant for Neighborhood Revitalization

Norris Apartments Temple University North Philadelphia

Early rendering of Norris Apartments in North Philadelphia.
Photo credit: Butz Enterprises Inc.

Philadelphia is one of six finalists in the application for the “Choice Neighborhood” grant, a financial program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Should the city get the $30 million award for the use of neighborhood revitalization, it would incorporate it into the North Central plan.

According to the Inquirer’s Jennifer Lin, receiving the grant would give the Philadelphia Housing Authority permission to be at the forefront of a coalition tasked with redeveloping a neighborhood east of Temple’s campus (one that has been grappling with “the pressure of gentrification”).

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Morning Headlines: Drive-Thru Walgreens to Replace Sbarro Gas Station in Haverford

Screen shot of 2400 Darby Road.
Photo credit: Google Street View.

The current Sbarro gas station on the corner of Darby and East Eagle Road is set to be demolished and replaced by a 6,800-square-foot drive-thru Walgreens store. Blackwater Falls Trust plans to lease its .6-acre Haverford property to Walgreen Eastern Company, who appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board last week to request construction variances.

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