Headlines: Big Plan to Cap the Railyards at 30th Street Station Needs You

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

After the planning process for the 175-acre area surrounding 30th Street Station officially kicked off in January, the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is starting to take shape.

A team lead by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and SEPTA (plus additional public stakeholders) will release three conceptual diagrams at an open house scheduled for tonight from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 30th Street Station.

Each one is an ambitious view into what one of the busiest transportation hubs in the nation could look like in the not-too-distant future. Amtrak gave PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa a sneak preview of the trio of concepts, which call for capping parts of the railyards or the highway in some fashion.

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University City Science Center Plans Massive Live-Work Innovation Hub

The central public square | Rendering: Wexford Science + Technology, Photos: James Jennings

The surge in development in University City is showing no signs of slowing down, especially now that Wexford Science + Technology has unvieled plans to help the University City Science Center expand into a massive live-work neighborhood anchored by office and lab space, at least 300 (and potentially up to 600) apartments, plenty of retail and restaurants, new walkable streets and even a public square designed to give the 14-acre campus a sense of place.

Last week, the Science Center announced that they were looking to beef up their footprint to nearly 4 million square-feet as University City continues to position itself as an innovation hub in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region. A major part of that is a partnership with Wexford, who will develop 10-acres worth of the former Univsersity City High School site.

“It’s the culmination of ongoing success among the anchor institutions in University City,” Science Center CEO Stephen Tang told BizPhilly’s Jared Shelly last week. “The growth of Penn, Drexel, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — and the success we’ve had lately in nurturing startup companies that graduated from our incubator and wanted to stay in our facilities — makes this project possible.”

Here’s more on the plan

Drexel’s Virtual Butt Draws National Attention — Again

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Lok

Photo courtesy Dr. Benjamin Lok

Last week, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed on my phone, I kept seeing the same photo of a seated man with his gloved hand inside a plastic dummy’s butt. It looked like a CPR class gone terribly wrong. I didn’t read the accompanying articles because, well, there were other things to do. But when I was told today that the dummy had been developed, in part, by a professor at Drexel, I got interested. A Philly connection? I had to learn more. My priorities are in order.

Turns out, the photograph is of a medical student giving a virtual patient a prostate exam. It’s part of a project called the Virtual Patients Group, which includes computer scientists, medical doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, and educators all doing research and development into improving interpersonal skills in healthcare environments. They provide tools for medical school curricula and public health exhibits—tools like Patrick, pictured in the photo, a virtual human who is half-onscreen and half-mannequin. The interpersonal interaction with Patrick (voiced and controlled by an instructor) includes taking his history. When it comes time for the physical exam, the actual mannequin—which has sensors inside—allows the student to perfect the hands-on technique. This combination of onscreen virtual patient and mannequin for hands-on application is also in use for breast exams, another intimate scenario in which medical students need practice with bedside manner and a gentle, precise touch.

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Hotel News: The Study at University City Breaks Ground

The Study at University City | Rendering: Study Hotels

The Study at University City | Rendering: Study Hotels/DIGSAU

Drexel University is making some noise this week. Hot off of announcing their big plans for the Korman Quadrangle, Study Hotels and Hospitality 3, a hotel development company, broke ground on a new project called the Study at University City today.

The hotel will have a prime location on northwest corner of 33rd and Chestnut and feature 212 rooms, 7,000-square-feet of banquet/meeting space, a 105-seat corner restaurant and bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center, according to a press release. It will replace the James E. Marks Intercultural Center.

Philly’s own DIGSAU handled the design of the building, which follows Study’s first brand at Yale, aptly named The Study at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut.  The project was announced in May, when Drexel agreed to a “long term ground lease” for the location with developer Hospitality 3, who own the hotel to be operated by Study Hotels. The project on Drexel’s campus is expected Read more »

Drexel’s New-Look Quad Will Feature Campus Green, Renovated Korman Center

The new-look Korman Center from the Korman Quadrangle | Courtesy: Drexel University

The new-look Korman Center from the Korman Quadrangle | Courtesy: Drexel University

Any university worth its salt has a centralized location where everyone gathers. At Penn, it’s College Green. Temple has Beury Beach at the Bell Tower. Drexel University students hang at the Quad around the Korman Center, a site that even the university admits has begun to look “increasingly out of date.” Well, that’s all about to change.

The university officially announced that it plans to “expand and repurpose much of the building as well as create the classic campus green” in the open space in and around the Korman Center. The newly minted Korman Quadrangle is possible due to an $8 million gift from the Korman Family Foundation. Drexel matched the gift with another $8 million. According to a press release, construction is expected to begin Read more »

Drexel Professor Accidentally Sends Anal Beads Porn to Law Students

File this under “Big ol’ oopsie.”

lisa mcelroy

Above the Law reports that Lisa McElroy, a professor at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law, accidentally sent her students an email that contained a link to a PornHub video called “She Loves Her Anal Beads.”

The email came with the subject line “great article on writing briefs,” but, well, that’s not exactly what the students got.

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3201 Race Street Plans Apartments, Homes and Childcare

3201 Race Street, looking west | Rendering via Erdy McHenry Architecture/Radnor Property Group

3201 Race Street, looking west | Rendering via Erdy McHenry Architecture/Radnor Property Group

A Drexel-owned lot at 3201 Race Street looks to have a new life in its not-too-distant future. Radnor Property Group plans for a glassy 16-story apartment tower designed by Philly-based Erdy McHenry Architecture. 164 market rate apartment units will rise above a mixed-use platform that will contain a large childcare facility and a public green space that looks over the train tracks towards Center City.

David Yeager, president of Radnor Property Group, said the project was born out of a request for proposal from Drexel University for projects geared towards market rate housing and childcare for their staff and the nearby community.  Yeager described it as another “cog” in the wheel of Drexel president John Fry’s vision for the Innovation Neighborhood and beyond.

The project will also include 12 market rate townhomes to the north, a green roof and an underground parking facility with 26 spaces. There are also 61 bike spots and two car share spaces.

It’s also important to note Read more »

Academy of Natural Sciences Offers Pay-What-You-Wish Admission Day

dinohall_WKlein-1534 (1)On Monday, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is hosting a pay-what-you-wish day in celebration of its founding.

As the Academy notes in a press release, “the official day the Academy was established by seven amateur naturalists was March 21, 1812. Initially meeting at one founder’s home, these men pulled together their specimen collections and other resources and created the Academy of Natural Sciences for ‘the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences and the advancement of useful learning.’”

The Academy offers a spot in the city to escape every day life to ponder life-size dinosaur replicas, learn about fossil preservation, and learn about animals that have roamed the Earth through its collection of countless species, living and dead.

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