Study Finds Young College Grads Spur On Economic and Neighborhood Revitalization

Yesterday, City Observatory published “The Young and Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” a report focusing on 51 metropolitan areas (with a population of 1 million or more) that saw a particular change in their close-in neighborhoods, or “places within 3 miles of the center of each metropolitan area’s primary central business district.” You can read the full report here.

The gist of it, though, is this: Using recently released data from the American Community Survey, the study found that “urban cores” lured in a higher number of college-educated young adults–even in population-declining areas like Buffalo and Cleveland.

These migrating millennials (the 2012 study, which looked at people between the ages of 25 and 34, labels them as such in one of their graphs) displayed higher four-year college attainment rates than those from 2000, which is a good thing, according to the report: Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: David Lynch’s Former Fairmount Home

2429 Aspen St, Philadelphia, PA, 19130

2429 Aspen St, Philadelphia, PA, 19130

A decade before Eraserhead made its debut in 1977, director David Lynch was living in Philadelphia. To be more precise, he was living in this Fairmount house.

Lynch recently had some words to say about his time here, including an admission that for all his city phobia, his creativity flourished in the dark landscape of mid-’60s Philadelphia. From the Courier Post:

“It wasn’t a normal city when I was here,” Lynch recalled. “The fear, insanity, corruption, filth, despair, violence in the air was so beautiful to me.”

“Philadelphia is percolating in me,” Lynch added.

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Morning Headlines: Navy Yard Nabs Another HQ

The Navy Yard master plan. Photo credit: NavyYard.org

The Navy Yard master plan. Photo credit: NavyYard.org

Add another notch in the belt for the Navy Yard: Bala Cynwyd-based NXTsports, which is an organization that offers sports education, events and facilities management, will relocate to the corporate campus that’s home to Urban Outfitters, Glaxo SmithKline and many others. From the Philadelphia Business Journal:

NXTsports currently leases space at 555 City Ave. and considered remaining in the building when it launched its search. It also looked at other office properties in Bala Cynwyd, Conshohocken, Pa., and at the Navy Yard.
“We love the vibe down there,” said Joel Zuercher, chief operating officer and general counsel at the company. “We are a young, energetic company and it seems like that is the place to be for a growing business such as ours.”

NXTsports has gone from three employees to 20 in the last three years and it expects to continue growing. The new space will give its some extra room to accommodate that growth.

NXTsports picks Navy Yard for new headquarters

More headlines, this way…

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Can Center City’s Flying Saucer Be Saved?

A Google Street View photo taken in June of this year shows the building in context.

A Google Street View photo taken in June of this year shows the building in context.

Used to be the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia released an annual list of 12 “endangered properties” — bricks-and-mortar equivalents of trembling polar bears clinging to melting blocks of ice. Today the Alliance announces a change: it’ll release the same kind of list three times a year, with four properties each time, and call it “Places to Save,” which rolls off the tongue and rids the whole endeavor of its woolly mammoth feel.

The four picks for this cycle include the William Penn Inn, the Mt. Moriah Cemetery Gatehouse, the Blue Horizon boxing venue, and the flying saucer in LOVE Park, aka, the Fairmount Park Welcome Center. Now, the first three picks have rather obvious merit, but there are many people who look at that round, midcentury yo-yo building and don’t quite get it. What the heck is it? Why is it?

Designed by architect Roy Larsen of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larsen, it was built in 1960 as the Philadelphia Hospitality Center. This was well before the city’s visitors center was even a glimmer in Philadelphia’s eye, and the architecture and concept were both cutting-edge at the time. “There was a huge amount of civic pride at building this architectural wonder at the base of Penn Center,” says Ben Leech, the Alliance’s director of advocacy. “Architecturally, it’s the last best example of postwar Penn Center optimism.”

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22nd and Market Memorial Park Names Artist

building collapse

Photo of woman at demolition site paying honor to one of the collapse victims. Photo: Laura Kicey.

The most recent Center City Residents Association Newsletter has an update on the memorial park proposed for 22nd and Market, the site of the June 2013 building collapse responsible for the death of seven people: artist Barbara Fox has been selected to design the memorial sculpture. From the newsletter:

As for her winning concept, Fox says she wanted the families to be able to personalize the memorial for themselves. “My idea was to have windows in a house-shaped piece, and each victim’s family could customize how the window would look so that it would mean something to them, like the color of the glass or the texture of the glass. The name of each of the six victims would be etched into the granite over each window. Then, there would be a seventh window for individuals who were injured in the collapse. Above that window it would say ‘for those we remember’. “

All due respect to Fox, who was obviously speaking very preliminarily, let’s memorialize the death of seven people, rather than six, so that Ronald Waggenhoffer is not forgotten. (In case you have forgotten him, read this piece about his suicide.) He was a victim too, and deserves his own window.

Morning Headlines: Saffron On the New Family Court Building

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

It’s been a long time coming, but last week, the Philadelphia Family Court finally moved its headquarters to a recently completed, nine-story, glass and metal building at 15th and Arch. And like all new additions to the city’s skyline, the building was the focus of Inga Saffron’s appraising eye.

According to the Inquirer, the new Court location offers 544,000 square feet and includes 29 courtrooms, administrative offices, judges’ chambers, and a staff training facility. But unlike its former site, which had all of the former features, the latest has extras like a playroom and computer room. Saffron says that its amenities like these that save the building from being straight-out bad:

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Property’s Weekend Agenda: Relive the Glory Days of Hohendel House

Have a cold brew at a house party that celebrates the newly renovated Hohenadel House in East Falls! This Saturday, the party will include recreated Hohenadel brews by local homebrewer Tom Coughlin, live music, and a pop-up museum with “period-appropriate furniture” and other artifacts. Further event details below.

Back in the mid-nineties, Hohenadel Brewery in East Falls was an endangered landmark that went on to be demolished in 1997. The home of the defunct brewery’s owner seemed to be heading in the same direction.

According to Philly.com, the historic mansion that once housed the Hohenadel family was in such a state of disrepair that graffiti artists, squatters, and a whole other slew of blight connoisseurs had taken over. One day, someone stepped in: Read more »

Rydal Home Near Bradley Cooper

Alright, let me preface this by saying I’m not trying to get Mr. Cooper stalked or anyone in trouble. BUT, it seems pointless to profile this house without mentioning that a 10-minute walk (at least, according to directions from Google Maps) will get you to his former doorstep.

So no, you wouldn’t be his neighbor-neighbor, per se. Rather, you’d be neighbors in the general neighborhood-y kind of way. Think of it as a fun fact you can tell your grandkids one day (like those stories you hear about your cousin’s best friend’s aunt’s stepfather running into -insert celebrity name here- in an elevator): “We ran into Bradley Cooper while walking Buddy!”

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