Archive for the ‘University City’ Category

Buildings Then and Now: Gray and silver and read all over

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
3001 Market Street

3001 Market Street, the former home of The Evening Bulletin, today. Photo by the author.

There are now many Philadelphians who have no idea or recollection of anyone other than Drexel University occupying this sleek gray brick building at 30th and Market streets at the gateway to University City.

Home now to Goodwin College of Professional Studies, Drexel’s adult, evening and continuing education division, the building entered Drexel’s portfolio in 1993, when the university acquired it at a bankruptcy auction from its then-owner, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, which was at the time unable to use the initials by which Philadelphians knew the bank for decades because Mellon Bank owned the rights to “PSFS” thanks to a prior sale of some of the savings bank’s branches and assets. (more…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Philadelphia – and all of the other 66 counties in the state – could be in line for a windfall thanks to a state judge’s ruling against the banking industry’s central mortgage registry; One property owner is putting a hammerlock on Philly’s commercial real estate market. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?; The Redevelopment Authority has put out a call for developers interested in building housing for working families in Grays Ferry and Point Breeze; and can you imagine what a home designed by Prince and Liberace might look like? You can’t? Well, someone in Society Hill sure did:

Pa. counties could reap big bucks from ruling on mortgage registry (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
One landlord ‘monopolized’ Philly’s best markets. That a problem? (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
City seeks more workforce housing in Grays Ferry and Point Breeze (Philadelphia Business Journal)
That’s Rather Hideous: Delancey Street Home Gives New Meaning to ‘When Doves Cry’ (Curbed Philly)

Buildings Then and Now: Prescription for good food

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
45th and Spruce street site of Rx and The Farmacy

Rx The Farmacy, a onetime pharmacy at 45th and Spruce streets

This story, it turns out, is more mystery than history, but the mystery has proved to be tempting chef bait.

Here’s the mystery, and maybe you, our intrepid reader, can help us solve it: Who ran the pharmacy at the northeast corner of 45th and Spruce streets in University City, and when did it open and close? (more…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A midblock retail building in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street could fetch a pretty penny on the market; Plan Philly has a roundup of all the transportation projects currently under way across the region; Are you an honest Philadelphian trying to do the right thing? Then you’re a chump, says a Daily News columnist; and that game of Tetris on the Cira Centre that launched Philly Tech Week breaks its own record for world’s largest video game:

Property at 15th and Chestnut streets up for sale, could fetch $10M (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Roadwork roundup: Summer transportation construction projects (Plan Philly)
Welcome to Chump City (Philadelphia Daily News|
It’s official: Tetris on the Cira Centre named world’s largest video game (|Philly)odell

Deal reached on sale of University City High School to Drexel

Friday, June 13th, 2014
University City High School

A deal that removed objections from Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell will allow the sale of University City High School to Drexel University to close on Monday.

The shuttered University City High School at 36th and Filbert Streets in Powelton Village will be sold to Drexel University for $25 million on Monday after a deal was struck between the City Council and Drexel after Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell held up zoning changes to the site last week.

Drexel and the school district wanted the sale finalized by yesterday, which will bolster the School District of Philadelphia’s cash reserves. The financially-strapped school district has until the end of June to pay its bills or it will be forced into another round of layoffs.

But after weeks of talks between Drexel and the Powelton Village Civic Association about Drexel’s plans for the site, a deal was struck and the Councilwoman dropped her objections to the zoning changes which, if not approved, would threaten the whole deal. (more…)

114-year-old, Furness-designed Squirrel Hill church ordered demolished

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
St  Peter's Church of Christ

The doomed St. Peter’s Church of Christ, nee Church of the Atonement, at 47th Street and Kingsessing Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

When one of the Celtic crosses crumbled and then crashed from the roof of St. Peter’s Church of Christ onto the 47th Street sidewalk near Kingsessing Avenue in Squirrel Hill, it wasn’t a sign from God. It was urban decay. But the church had long been in disrepair when the accident happened. Luckily, no one was hurt.

By the end of this week, the rest of the 114-year-old church will meet the same fate — this time by the hand of man operating a wrecking ball. It’s a sad end to the once-thriving church that was designed by the renowned architect Frank Furness. Then it was known as the Church of the Atonement. But no amount of Hail Marys will atone for the death of what was once a beautiful building built when West Philadelphia was still in its infancy and barely 50 years old. (more…)

Afternoon Quick Hits

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Speaking of office buildings becoming live-work-play spaces, here’s another one in University City; A busy Olney shopping center could fetch $50 million on the market; We’ve never been fans of the “Delaware Valley,” so we were pleased to see Harry K finger the culprit who foisted the term upon us; and it turns out our own Springfield’s the fourth most Simpsonish in the country – but the folks who complied these rankings forgot to tell us which one:

FMC Tower to feature 268 high-end apartments (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Exclusive: Olney shopping center up for sale. Could fetch more than $50m (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Delaware Valley, U.S.A. (Hidden City Daily)
Which Springfield Is Most Like the Springfield On “The Simpsons”? (Estately blog)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Drexel’s plans for redeveloping the U-City High site hit a speed bump at City Hall; it appears that former Eagles head coach Andy Reid is finally comfortable with his new home in Kansas City; Inga Saffron gives the Franklin Institute’s newest addition kudos for fulfilling its mission – modestly; and new Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto, the latest in a series of fiscally prudent, tech-savvy progressives taking over city halls across the country, hits the ground running:

Hurried negotiations over redevelopment of University City High (Plan Philly)
For sale: Andy Reid’s brightly colored home in Villanova (Philadelphia Business Journal)
A modest and elegant corrective (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
Bill Peduto’s Steeltown (Next City “Forefront”; subscription or purchase required)

Afternoon Quick Hits

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The School District’s real estate sale isn’t producing as the district had hoped, leaving yet another hole in its budget; Next to the cathedral that never was runs the boulevard that never was; A local bicyclist tries out a possible Eakins Oval bypass and finds it not quite traffic-ready; and speaking of bike routes, get ready to ride yours over the landmark Manayunk railroad bridge, maybe as soon as this fall:

Phila. Officials Scrambling as School District Real Estate Sell-off Falters (CBS Philly)
The Unbuilt Vision for a Grand Cathedral Road (Hidden City Daily)
The Spring Garden Tunnel: A New Bike Route to West Philadelphia? (Hidden City Daily)
Construction Watch: Construction for Manayunk Bridge Project Coming Soon (Curbed Philly)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The University City Science Center’s first high-rise is up for sale; Philly will be the host city when the World Forum on Foreign Direct Investment meets in the United States for the first time; City Council takes up Council President Darrell Clarke’s affordable-housing initiative today; and The Lincoln will again house residents now that it has emerged from legal limbo:

Owner of 3535 Market St. in Philadelphia looking to sell (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Philadelphia to host global economic development conference (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Low-income rentals and buys comes closer to realization (Philadelphia Daily News|
The Lincoln Will Rise Again (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine)

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