Headlines: Should Reyburn Plaza Be the Next Public Space Domino to Fall?

Plus: Snøhetta brings the fun to Austria; a new battle in Paoli and plans for riverfront prison?

The Department of Revenue's home , the Municipal Services Building. Photo by Paulina Issac.

Frank Rizzo is at the entrance to what is known as Reyburn Plaza | Photo by Paulina Issac.

The collection of unwelcoming public spaces in and around the venerable City Hall area are starting to fall like a well designed domino setup. First, it was Dilworth Plaza/Park. Next comes the north apron and interior courtyard at City Hall itself. Soon, both will be followed up by a new LOVE Park. Steve Stofka of Philadelphia2050 ponders, what about Reyburn Plaza adjacent to the Municipal Services Building to the north of old William Penn?

You probably only know Reyburn Plaza as the hardscaped pitch that houses the beat up Sorry! pieces and, ironically, the falling dominoes. The larger than life statue of Frank Rizzo is at its gateway on JFK Boulevard and, other than the occasional City Year swearing-in ceremony or yarn bomb, isn’t really used a whole lot:

Park space is only as valuable as how well it’s used. Even on good days, Reyburn is an empty, windswept, trash-strewn cartoon of a plaza with its giant Sorry pieces scattered about. Its bleak desolation sets North Broad’s fourth-fiddle tone, and there are few opportunities to capture value from the blocks abutting it, given the wealth of public and nonprofit development.

Stofka outlines the many challenges at the site and offers some interesting ideas in his theoretical “Program for Development,” including a scenario where the city sells the outdated MSB and land for private development. Check it out at the link below.

Will Temple’s Library Have a Bouncy Room?

Curbed National checks in on Snøhetta’s brilliant addition to the Swarovski Kristallwelten, a museum in Austria dedicated to Swarovski Crystals. Snøhetta is leading the design of the new library at Temple University, so fingers crossed about the bouncy room thing. Also, if you had any doubts about them not absolutely blowing your mind with the design at Temple, please see this photo gallery.

When the museum reopened to the public last week, visitors, particularly the young ones, were treated to three new features: a 65-foot play tower, a “free-form” outdoor playground, and a curvy concrete and copper cafe and restaurant—all designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, in collaboration with local firms Cao Perrot and s_o_s architekten.

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