Headlines: Near Tragic Accident Caused by Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

Do you see that rendering?  That’s what the 25th Street Viaduct in South Philadelphia is supposed to look like once the planned renovation project by the city and owners CSX is complete in five years. It’s pristine, as far as utilitarian concrete structures go. Today, however, is a much different, and nearly tragic, story.

Officials deemed the bridge “structurally sound” just a few weeks ago during the announcement of the renovations. NBC10 reports that a large chunk of concrete fell from the bridge near the intersection of 25th and Dickinson on Friday night in Point Breeze. It landed on the passenger side window of a BMW sedan. The driver narrowly escaped a tragic scene and was “shaken” but not injured.

Phase one, which is supposed to start in June, includes wrapping the bridge in safety netting. After the incident on Friday, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to get it going ASAP:

“The incident today shows we should start immediately cause it’s important,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to risk somebody else riding under this bridge and a catastrophe happening.”

A clogged drainage system is being labeled as the cause of the incident. For video at the scene, hit up that link from NBC10 below.

Read more »

Renovations Planned for Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct in South Philly

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

You know that crumbling railroad  bridge that spans from roughly Washington Avenue to West Passyunk Avenue on 25th Street in South Philly? Well, as ominous as it looks, the structure itself is actually sound and the good news is that it won’t look like a withering eyesore for much longer.

CSX and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson announced a “multi-year, multi-phase” project to improve the structure back to its “original condition and appearance,” according to a press release.

Look for the project to occur in four phases starting in June through the year 2020, which really isn’t as far away as it sounds. Here’s the timeline from the press release: Read more »

Morning Headlines: Saving a Frank Furness-Related Church Is a Labor of Love

It's getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

It’s getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

Although it’s still in need of millions of dollars in repairs in order to be returned to its former glory, the 19th Street Baptist Church at 19th and Titan streets in Point Breeze is slowly, but surely, being saved. Given the amount of church demolitions this city sees each year, can we all give the congregation of the church and Aaron Wunsch, a professor of historic preservation at Penn, a collective hallelujah?

Newsworks reports the city has cleared away one historic church each month over the past few years and Wunsch, along with Deacon Lloyd Butler and other church members, has done yeoman’s work to make sure this church, officially designed by George W. Hewitt in 1874 during a partnership in a firm with Frank Furness, wasn’t added to that dubious list:  Read more »

Morning Headlines: Apartments on the Way at Former South Philly School

Childs Elementary | Google Street View

Childs Elementary | Google Street View

It looks as though a shuttered school will come back to life as an apartment building. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the former George W. Childs Elementary School at 17th and Tasker Street in Point Breeze will be redeveloped into 73 apartments. The building has been closed since 2010 and Brey says that 10 of the 73 apartments “will be affordable to individuals making up to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), pursuant to a Community Benefits Agreement signed by the developer, some community groups, and a nearby resident.”

As you can see in the comments of the article, there is some debate about whether that’s really affordable for lifelong residents of the neighborhood or not.

Metal Ventures Inc purchased the property for $1.2 million and plans to include a 48 parking spaces for cars, 11 spots for bikes, green roofs, roof decks and has even agreed to open the 7,000 square-foot auditorium to community two nights per week, free of charge.

Apartments coming to shuttered school building in Point Breeze [PlanPhilly] Read more »

Restaurant Week Alternative: American Sardine Bar

american sardine bar gourmet pittsburgh cheesesteakScott Schroeder is upgrading his Best of Philly winning Pittsburgh Cheesesteak between now and January 30th, during dinner hours (5 pm. to 10 p.m.), as an alternative to Center City’s restaurant week.

The $35 Pittsburgh Cheesesteak at American Sardine Bar is a 60-day dry-aged Creekstone NY Strip, grilled royal trumpet mushrooms, truffled triple cream Brie and foie gras gravy fries served on a seeded roll. The over-the-top-steak is accompanied with a pickle salad.

Read more »

Could a Beer Hall Happen at 22nd and Washington?

washington-beer-garden-rendering-940

Rendering via Naked Philly

Naked Philly reports that MSC Retail has a warehouse at 22nd and Washington Avenue on the market and has even gone to the effort of producing renderings of the 24,000 square foot building as a beer hall. We know the property has been floated as a beer garden since the spring. It will be interesting to see if anyone takes the bait.

Washington Avenue has some serious development potential and with Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, Cafe Ynez, NextFab Studios and a crossfit studio nearby, the stretch has some success stories as well.

MSC Retail’s Jacob Cooper reached out to us regarding the company’s thoughts on the property.

Read more »

Where We’re Eating: Cafe Ynez

huevos-rancheros-ynez-940

A Mexican restaurant in your neighborhood is a way of knowing you’ve arrived. An attractive BYOB serving breakfast nachos and carne asada salads and offering dinner specials like poached tilapia is a subtle clue that house prices are rocketing skyward and you’re happy you bought when you did. That’s what Cafe Ynez does for both the Grad Hospital and Point Breeze neighborhoods. The husband-and-wife team of Evan Malone and Jill Weber (Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516) have created this third restaurant as a companion to Malone’s NextFab Studio. But it’s the neighbors who make out best in the deal. Whether it’s the huevos rancheros that don’t need to take a backseat to any in the city, or the rotisserie chicken that can anchor a dinner platter or be a key ingredient in the Tinga burrito, a meal at Cafe Ynez is affordable, tasty, and just what this neighborhood needs.

Details » 

American Sardine Bar Turns Three

10408124_698270516935133_6808937667266199098_n

American Sardine Bar is hosting its three-year-anniversary party tomorrow, November 26th.

The party’s going to have a special sardine menu, a long beer list, specials and contests beginning at noon.

The draft list will include Bruey Tart of Darkness, Russian River Supplication, Firestone Walker Agrestic and a ton of others. There will also be specials on cans if that floats your boat.

So if you want to spend your snow day with a bunch of food and booze, Point Breeze might be your answer.

American Sardine Bar [Foobooz]

Morning Headlines: Local Group Opposes Selling Shuttered School in Point Breeze to Developer

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

A sudden change in sale plans for the shuttered Walter G. Smith Elementary School at 19th and Wharton has residents miffed: the building is pending sale with a D.C.-based developer set to acquire it.

According to the Philadelphia Tribune’s Wilford Shamlin III, the Point Breeze Community Development Coalition was originally in talks with Independence Charter in order to keep the building as an educational institution. However, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission has opted to go in a different direction by selling the property to the Concordia Group, a real estate developer who residents think will do little to help the neighborhood:

Read more »

Gentrification in Philadelphia

daily news special section

The DN’s special section appears in today’s print edition as well as online.

For those who think daily newspapers lack a purpose in a digitized world that threatens to make traditional media outlets obsolete, today’s coverage of gentrification in a Daily News special section is a firm rejoinder. The seven articles that comprise “The Problems and the Promise: Gentrification in Philadelphia” is a pull-out section of the print edition and a microsite at philly.com. It illuminates the issues around the word that’s probably the most contested and least understood of any used to refer to real estate and development battles in the city.

The project isn’t perfect. There are missteps — like the boldfaced use of the term “Templetown.” But there are important myths that get debunked, and crucial facts that must be called to every Philadelphian’s attention before they expound on gentrification. Because, oh boy, do people expound. I hear far too much strident talk about “gentrification” from people ill-equipped to understand it. This series should help.

Read more »

« Older Posts