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September 2012

There are 120 blog entries for September 2012.

Buildings Then and Now: Musical Fund Hall

The Musical Fund Hall today The brick and terra-cotta Musical Fund Hall in Washington Square West is a triple landmark, notable in American architectural, musical and political history. But it is also the only historic building in Philadelphia to have been designated a National Historic Landmark - then removed from the prestigious list. Founded in 1820, the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia purchased the building at 808 Locust Street in 1824 to provide a permanent performance space for its members. Architect and Society member William Strickland converted the building, which had housed the Fifth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, into the city's largest concert auditorium that same year. A newspaper account on its opening praised…
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Lunchtime Quick Hits

His peers in the legal profession couldn't do it, but policy will take Willis W. Berry, the infamous slumlord Common Pleas Court judge who ran a real estate business from his chambers, off the bench for good; Nice to see the Census data confirming what we already knew just by walking around. But: 355,000 residents in downtown Salt Lake City? Really?; Graduate Hospital, meet Northern Liberties. NoLibs, G-Ho; and Mark Alan Hughes urges us to ramp up our public-private collaborations for a better Philadelphia: Judge Berry, ordered to pay $180,000 in damages, is retiring (Philadelphia Inquirer| It's Official: Downtowns Are Booming (The Atlantic Cities) The Anti-Toll Bloc 23 Approved by ZBA; Breaks Ground in Early 2013 (Hidden…
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Street fairs enliven Wash West next weekend

Midtown Village Fall Festival/a Two of Center City's biggest and best street fairs take place back-to-back next weekend, serving up a menu of food and drink, arts and crafts and all-around fun for all. First up is the Midtown Village Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6. This year's seventh annual festival will be the biggest ever, with more to see, do and experience. A six-block swath of the neighborhood will be turned over to Village residents, vistors and the merely curious from noon to 7 p.m. Besides delicious food and great libations from the area's many restaurants and neat stuff from local merchants, there will be artisans and craftspeople offering unique items from all over, a bigger and better "Little Villagers" play area, and even…
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Great Good Places: Beau Monde

Beau Monde If you’re not familiar with the restaurant, Beau Monde is a traditional Breton creperie located at the corner of 6th and Bainbridge streets, where Queen Village and Bella Vista meet. The indoor space is warm and inviting while the proximity to South Street provides perfect people watching during nice weather. It’s a taste of France located in Center City, delighting Philadephians since 1998.  The atmosphere could easily come off as too prim and proper, but it strikes a perfect balance between simple elegance in its décor, warmth, comfort and amazing food. Another true story: Though she also loves Beau Monde, my mom once begged me to pick another brunch spot because time and time again I suggested—assumed, really—just one…
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Fairmount CDC reviews "a decade of growth," prepares for future with town hall meetings

A residential street in Fairmount "There is opportunity for growth all around Fairmount and so when we really think of community, we think of the Fairmount neighborhood, but also all the neighborhoods around us, too. And we look for ways to partner with other neighborhoods and things like that for mutual interest and benefit," explained Kevin Moran, communication director for the Fairmount CDC. One way the Fairmount CDC is celebrating its past success and setting future goals is by holding a series of town hall-style meetings to get input from the locals. The organization just finished a series of internal assessments on its past programming; Moran and his team have examined what has been…
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Developer's plans for West Powelton apartments put on hold for now


4122 Haverford Ave in 2009 (Google Maps image) With the vacant house at 4122 Haverford Ave. in West Powelton bulldozed and replaced with a deep, muddy hole, the lot’s owner, Moshe Barazani, went before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Sept. 19 to have the lot lines divided to create two lots out of one.


4122 Haverford Ave today According to public records, Barzani received approval in August to demolish the old house to make room for two apartment buildings. The lot sits next to a block-long factory that runs along 42nd Street. Barzani hopes to create two four-story multi-family dwellings with a total of eight apartments in each building. Both will have a rooftop deck totaling 529 square feet in area for the buildings’ residents.


Haverford Ave elevation The…
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Lunchtime Quick Hits

A British journalist visits the world's first pizza museum at Pizza Brain in Fishtown. Get ready for the global onslaught of tourists, Brian; could this be Goldtex redux? Someone has it in for an out-of-town contractor working on a drainage project in the Northeast; 6ABC's Jim Gardner tweets, "Philadelphia not in top 20. Hogwash." Scroll to Slide 1 for the methodology; and the real story in Point Breeze is not about that one lot - it's about the other 51: Welcome to the world's first pizza museum (The Guardian) Northeast Philadelphia Construction Site Vandalized (CBS Philly) America's 50 Best Cities: Philadelphia (Rank: 24) (Bloomberg Businessweek) In Point Breeze, Rising Land Values Revive a Plan to Seize Lots (Next American City)
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Fairmount CDC works for a sustainable future

Recycling buckets being distributed at a Fairmount CDC Community Recycling Day We had the opportunity to chat with Kevin Moran, the communications director of the Fairmount Community Development Corporation (Fairmount CDC), about some of the projects the organization has been working on for the past ten years and how to continue to move the community forward. In marriage, the ten-year anniversary traditionally is a gift of tin or aluminum.  Now, while that may not be a Tiffany-caliber gift, it is actually a pretty decent connection for the Fairmount CDC and the collective of neighborhoods the organization has been courting for the past decade. On Sunday, September 23, the organization held the Fall Back to Fairmount Festival, which featured family fun, live music, and food from some of…
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Hidden Treasure Hunt: Lo, how a rose...

We were roaming around Center City today, looking for new holes in the ground to report on, when we stumbled across a secluded path and spotted this: rose (And if it's we who are confused about flowers blooming instead - and we may be, given that the PHS Pop-Up Garden still looked great when last we swung by - we welcome education on the subject.) -By Sandy Smith for Photos by the author stone When Benjamin Franklin was the colonial postmaster, he had a series of milestones erected along all the major routes into Philadelphia to help expedite the mail. Starting in 1740, roads like Lancaster Pike - today's Lancaster Ave. - were studded with tombstone-shaped markers that aided not only the…
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