With the exception of Evo, a building that’s going up so fast, it’s apparently an emergency — or maybe it just looks that way from my office window — watching construction projects take shape can be like watching paint dry, or grass grow, or people at IKEA walk toward the Marketplace. And in the case of some notable projects, there can be chasms of years when absolutely nothing happens even after construction has begun, leaving literal chasms in the ground. One of the best examples? The Rittenhouse Hotel, which paused mid-construction due to some very serious developer shenanigans, and left a big hole (not quite a DisneyHole, though) where kids used to play when I was growing up. It was basically an adjunct playground to Rittenhouse Square, though not technically condoned by the Fairmount Park system.
This aerial time-lapse video of the construction of Drexel’s Lancaster Square, submitted by user filadelfea to reddit philadelphia, is, in concept, very exciting. Everyone loves time-lapse videos! But the reality is that even when construction is sped up, it’s still very slow. And some folks just don’t cotton to it. As reddit user gtlgdp writes:
Could somebody please speed this up? I got too bored too fast.
I understand that reaction. Especially at the beginning. But it is worth watching the video from start to finish to see, from that all-encompassing aerial view, exactly what’s involved in a large-scale building project like this. It’s staggering to see all the moving parts and when in the process they’re deployed. Not only that, but the weather! You can really understand the way the snow necessarily interrupts these kinds of projects, or any construction for that matter. And like any time-lapse video, the changes in the weather and the landscape are just, well, pretty. And if you want to see more, go to Drexel’s official site for the time-lapse, here. It’s updated every day. Obviously.
You know what they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was Drexel. (But this project is moving along quite nicely, incidentally. John Fry makes things happen.)