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alex ballard
December 7th, 2004, 08:49 PM
As you may know, not all cities are as thriving or healthy as NYC. I live not too far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the city is dying. People are leaving and Jobs are going with them. What ideas do you have to save our neighbor to the south, the city of "brotherly love"?

tmg
December 7th, 2004, 10:29 PM
Interesting question. My two cents:

The last couple of economic cycles have not been kind to secondary cities in the Northeast. Boston, New York, and Washington have thrived, but Richmond, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, Newark, New Haven, and Providence have suffered. Philadelphia is the biggest of these, and perhaps can return to its former status as a primary city in the future. But it will be a tough road.

Richard Florida has suggested that cities thrive when they can compete successfully for "the creative class." They compete on the basis of amenities and quality of life, not necessarily being the cheapest or most convenient place to live. On this basis, Philly has a lot of advantages: great universities, great arts and cultural institutions, great urban neighborhoods. But I have heard that the city is sticking to a 1960s mindset in terms of urban redevelopment, by focusing on land clearance in poor neighborhoods rather than community building and entrepreneurship. To revitalize, Philly should do everything it can to follow NYC's model, and become a haven for immigrant entrepreneurs. Promote social services for immigrants, and assistance for new businesses. Real estate investment will follow.

debris
December 7th, 2004, 11:12 PM
I'm from the Trenton area, and I know several people who care about and love Philly. A few of my friends have moved/are planning to move there. They are fairly ambitious, and see it as a low cost urban alternative to NYC, and more exciting than Boston. I'm pretty optimistic about Philly's future, young people are delaying families into their 30s and more than ever, east coast cities will become yuppie pads.

TLOZ Link5
March 29th, 2005, 09:30 PM
From a friend's blog, re: the demolition of the Philadelphia Civic Center:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/revolvingdork/18106.html?style=mine

Alex, debris, PHLGuy, et al: is there anything you can tell us about this?

alex ballard
March 29th, 2005, 09:35 PM
From a friend's blog, re: the demolition of the Philadelphia Civic Center:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/revolvingdork/18106.html?style=mine

Alex, debris, PHLGuy, et al: is there anything you can tell us about this?

there is lots of redevlopment going on in the University City area. West Philly is gonna become a commuter burb in 20-30 years. I believe this is a victim of it. I'll try to find some details.

Schadenfrau
March 30th, 2005, 11:12 AM
My boyfriend is looking to buy a live/work space in Philadelphia. Apparently lots of New Yorkers are doing the same, seeing the lack of those properties here.

STT757
March 30th, 2005, 09:54 PM
Invest in SEPTA, improve intra city transportation aswell as connections to the Suburbs.

Restore passenger rail service from Center City to Newtown, Westchester and Quakertown.

BrooklynRider
March 31st, 2005, 04:34 PM
I was just in Philly last weekend after not having been there in quite a while. I loved it. It is a great walking city - GREAT. I think the problem is its struggle between a continued dedication to automobiles and a firm commitment to viable public mass transit. The reality is, you walk around cities and the ones with blocks and blocks of parking garage buildings tend to suck. Also, as is happening more in New York, there needs to be a rexamination of zoning. Mix it up, residential, commercial, retail can coexist.

asg
April 12th, 2005, 04:00 PM
I was just in Philly last weekend after not having been there in quite a while. I loved it. It is a great walking city - GREAT. I think the problem is its struggle between a continued dedication to automobiles and a firm commitment to viable public mass transit. The reality is, you walk around cities and the ones with blocks and blocks of parking garage buildings tend to suck. Also, as is happening more in New York, there needs to be a rexamination of zoning. Mix it up, residential, commercial, retail can coexist.
From Metropolis, May 2005; With a section on Philadelphia as a "wannabe" hip city highlighted in yellow.
(Sorry for the ransom note style cut and paste job, but I couldn't figure out a way to better post the scanned article.
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PHLguy
April 12th, 2005, 07:20 PM
I go to school in rural connecticut and live in phildelphia's outer neighborhoods at home, so I don't see much of the city because I am too busy with stuff.


Philly dying? no, Philly is the second largest city in the eastern US with 6 million people in it's outer boroughs, it's a great city, lots of awesome skyscrapers, diversity, almost everything NY has just scaled down.

Right now philly is undergoing some great developments. the 300 meter comcast office tower, at least 2 200m buildings near city hall and the cira center has just finished, and lot's of residential developments like the 650 foot mandeville tower, the 450 foot symphony tower and 4 100m buildings on the river.

A dying city can't boast that.

In 10 years philly will rank among the top 3 american skylines.

asg
April 13th, 2005, 09:46 AM
Maybe this part was too small to read:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/asg9000/Untitled-1.png

TLOZ Link5
April 13th, 2005, 04:50 PM
Jane Jacobs also said in a short NY Magazine article that I posted in one of the Jets Stadium threads that developers will habitually continue to build oversupplies of whatever is the hot commodity in real estate at that moment -- in this case, it's luxury apartment buildings. ASG, the article you quoted makes points that are irrefutable, but I'm resigned to think, sadly, that its calls will go unheeded.

ASchwarz
April 13th, 2005, 05:04 PM
Jane Jacobs also said in a short NY Magazine article that I posted in one of the Jets Stadium threads that developers will habitually continue to build oversupplies of whatever is the hot commodity in real estate at that moment -- in this case, it's luxury apartment buildings. ASG, the article you quoted makes points that are irrefutable, but I'm resigned to think, sadly, that its calls will go unheeded.

I don't think there's anyone in NY with any experience in the local housing industry who thinks NY has a glut of luxury housing. There is a huge shortage of upscale housing because of all the obstacles to development. Housing production in NY (at all income levels) still badly lags population growth.

ASchwarz
April 13th, 2005, 05:08 PM
I go to school in rural connecticut and live in phildelphia's outer neighborhoods at home, so I don't see much of the city because I am too busy with stuff.


Philly dying? no, Philly is the second largest city in the eastern US with 6 million people in it's outer boroughs, it's a great city, lots of awesome skyscrapers, diversity, almost everything NY has just scaled down.

Right now philly is undergoing some great developments. the 300 meter comcast office tower, at least 2 200m buildings near city hall and the cira center has just finished, and lot's of residential developments like the 650 foot mandeville tower, the 450 foot symphony tower and 4 100m buildings on the river.

A dying city can't boast that.

In 10 years philly will rank among the top 3 american skylines.

What on earth does a city's skyline have to do with its prosperity?

Is some dirt poor city in the north of Brazil a better city than Paris because it has more residential highrises? There is no correlation between a city's skyline and it's economic health or quality of life.

Moreover, the buildings currently under construction in Center City Philly are only being built because of huge cash subsidies by the City and State. The commercial real estate market in Philly is very weak, and there is zero demand for new office space. The residential market is better, but it's still a weak market.

PHLguy
April 14th, 2005, 08:21 AM
Im not talking about it's skyline, I'm talking about the residential and office space.

TLOZ Link5
April 14th, 2005, 12:47 PM
Im not talking about it's skyline, I'm talking about the residential and office space.

But there's little market for that space — not to mention that many of those office jobs will go to suburban commuters, and the condos will mostly be occupied by rich singles as opposed to families.

PHLguy
April 14th, 2005, 02:38 PM
true true, but philly is a really wonderful city, it's not in that bad of shape from what I've heard, it's growing well.

TLOZ Link5
April 24th, 2005, 03:26 AM
I'm in San Francisco over the weekend (going back in a few hours, actually), and the descriptions of it in asg's article are very apt. The contrast between rich and poor neighborhoods in this city is very abrupt, more abrupt than it is even in New York. On my way to my uncle's house in Pacific Heights, from the airport, I passed through a neighborhood called the Tenderloin, which abuts a gentrified area called Hayes Valley. The Tenderloin is pretty seedy while HV is definitely an increasingly-yuppified hipster hangout. The transition was obvious once I passed a new loft building that was under construction: the border of the neighborhood runs through that one block. Then, just beyond the Tenderloin, is the Golden Gate Theater, and beyond that is Pacific Heights, one of the ritziest residential neighborhoods in the city. No middle-class buffer.

Cromwell
April 25th, 2005, 11:53 PM
As you may know, not all cities are as thriving or healthy as NYC. I live not too far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the city is dying. People are leaving and Jobs are going with them. What ideas do you have to save our neighbor to the south, the city of "brotherly love"?

Alex, dying may not be the appropriate description for Philadelphia.It's certainly not as healthy as NYC or Boston but it's chugging along, far from death, trying to deal with a dreadful inner city. One of if not the worst in the entire country.

The good news.
Philly has an extremely solid collection of neighborhoods (Center City, Soceity Hill, University City,Chestnut Hill, Manayunk and Roxborough) These neighborhoods will always be rock solid and in every case are improving with each passing season. The average cost of a home in Soceity Hill-Chestnut Hill and Center City is around a million dollars, chump change by NYC standards but pretty healthy by the rest of the country. Suburban Philadelphia has taken great advantage of the failures of the city, it's one of the nicest suburban regions in the entire country. The Mainline out to Valley Forge is just tremendous.

Philadelphia's battlefield is in Northeast Philly, if this huge predominantly middle class neighborhood can hold on then Philly has a chance,however if it gets overrun by section 8 and the lower class then Philly is going to be in very bad shape. If this area falters you will have another 100,000 citizens added to the white flight category, Philly cannot afford that. Philly's white population in 1950 was 2,000,000 it is now around 680,000.

The bad news

Someone had mentioned North and West Philadelphia? It makes south central LA, south Bronx and the southside of Chicago look like Disneyland. It is bombed out beyond all reasonable comprehension resulting in a ridiculous murder rate. The school system seems more like a prison system by reports of the news.

Poor leadership, a 4.6% wage tax and the highest business taxes in the nation have forced 70% of the businesses to locate in the suburbs. Center City houses only 27% of the available metro white collar jobs, thats pathetic.


Philly needs to get a handle on their inner city catastrophe.

Philly needs to lower its wage and business taxes, even then it may be too late.

Fabrizio
April 26th, 2005, 06:55 AM
North and West Philadelphia are a scandal. And you should mention the hell-hole called Camden across the Delaware. Mile after mile of bombed out squalor. In no other industrialized country in the west will you see such conditions. Local Philadelphia television news sounds like NYC circa 1975.... with a couple of murders a day.

Cromwell
May 11th, 2005, 10:43 AM
From Metropolis, May 2005; With a section on Philadelphia as a "wannabe" hip city highlighted in yellow.
(Sorry for the ransom note style cut and paste job, but I couldn't figure out a way to better post the scanned article.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/asg9000/EphemeralCity.png
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Thanks for link asg.

Troubling article as there is certainly much more to Philadelphia than a "wanna be" hip center city spinning aimlessly inside a shell of a bombed out city. That a Wharton real estate expert claims Center City as Philadelphia's lonely bright spot is puzzling, misleading and a fallacy.

The Wharton School expert lives at least part of his life right in University City which was designated as one of the top 3 urban renewal neighborhoods of the entire world last year. Neighborhoods like Chestnut Hill,Overbrook,East Falls, Mt.Airy,Roxborough,Manayunk,Northeast are neighborhoods that any city in the world would gladly like to claim as it's own.

Not to belittle Cleveland, Detroit, or Manchester but I don't think Philadelphia belonged in this article. It's got a lot more going for it than simply trying to become a emphemeral city.

PHLguy
May 20th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Philly kicks the shit out of cleveland.


Philly is beautiful in many places as it is very poor in others. the river with all the old artchiecture looks like a wealthy euro city from some angles, the center of the city has very nice skyscrapers as well.

TLOZ Link5
July 31st, 2005, 12:01 AM
I'm very optimistic about Philadelphia's future. It definitely has not reached the nadir of urban woe that other cities in this country are currently at; nor has it lost as great a percentage of its peak population:

In 1950 Philly had 2.1 million people; now it has around 1.47mn: just under a 25% decline. By contrast Detroit's population has gone from 1.9 million in 1950 to 900,000 now; Cleveland has gone from 920,000 to 450,000; Pittsburgh has gone from 660,000 to 320,000; Saint Louis has gone from 850,000 to 340,000; and Buffalo has gone from 590,000 to 280,000. One thing that Philly can do is find ways to make itself attractive to international immigrants, who have revitalized huge tracts of New York in recent decades.

Even the luckier old cities that have survived the postwar period largely intact and thriving still have their scars. Chicago's population has gone from 3.6 million in 1950 to 2.9 million now; Boston has gone from 800,000 to 580,000; and Minneapolis has gone from 520,000 to 380,000.

The continued population decline since the last Census has not been as severe as expected (from 1.51mn to 1.47mn; a loss of 40,000 while smaller Detroit has lost 50,000). Keep in mind that Census estimates are often wrong and severely undercount older cities. Example: in 1999 DC's population was "estimated" at around 526,000, but the 2000 Census revealed it to be 572,000.

Nor is Philly's problem with crime as severe as it is in other struggling cities. It's not as safe as New York or Boston, but it's not as dangerous as Baltimore or DC. And its overall crime rate is still lower than that of supposedly "safe" and "thriving" cities further west and south (*coughDallascoughPhoenixcough*). According to the Philly PD, overall crime has gone down more than 20% since 1998, and has gone down 31% this year compared to 2004.

http://www.ppdonline.org/hq_statistics.php

http://ucr.psp.state.pa.us/cgi-bin/ibi_cgi/ibiweb.exe

Philly is more along the lines of a Chicago than a Detroit, in my opinion. It still has vibrant neighborhoods outside of the supposedly-Potemkin Center City, active and popular institutions of high culture, relatively healthy economic growth and real estate development (if it didn't, then City Hall would still be the tallest building), and a growing reputation as a "cool city." I'm thinking, particularly, about TV commercials for products like Big Red and Coca-Cola which prominently feature Philly's skyline as a backdrop; and of course Live-8. Despite the warnings against the "ephermal city," these last two points are still very encouraging, as it took decades into its decline before Detroit was considered, or even marketed as, "cool." And we're talking real star power behind a lot of the new real estate development: Richard Meier (!) is designing a newly-proposed office tower near Rittenhouse Square. Yes, there's more to a city's future than such developments (don't pounce on me just yet, ASchwartz :-P), but many signs, not all of them entirely tangible, point to a better future for Philly.

There's hope yet.

Fabrizio
July 31st, 2005, 04:23 AM
Another thing that Philly has going for it is that it´s beautifully positoned geographically between Washington and NYC and to the east, a quick drive away, there´s the Jersey shore.

This is interesting when you say:

"One thing that Philly can do is find ways to make itself attractive to international immigrants, who have revitalized huge tracts of New York in recent decades".

That is probably the key to revitilizing some of Philly´s more troublesome areas.

And the city could use a Giuliani "zero tolerance"-style mayor.

stache
July 31st, 2005, 04:42 AM
I visit Philly quite often. I was there last weekend and I was struck by what seems to be inertia. I went down to the subway and the dirt was not what you associate with use, like grime, but rather the drippings from the ceiling pilling up on surfaces reminded me of stalagmites starting to form.

debris
July 31st, 2005, 12:11 PM
I am from the Princeton-Trenton area, and while a few of my friends, and myself, went to New York, many others live in Philly. They see it as a cheap alternative to NYC, and they have a thriving artist community. I recently visited one of my best friends in the "Fishtown" area (a central neighborhood bordering Northern Liberties and Old city), and I can tell you, it was pretty cool. Right near the York-Dauphin stop on the Market Line, it had the feel of Astoria. My friend was sharing a three story brick rowhouse on the corner, with a yard, with one other person, for $350/month! That's why Philly's going to do just fine. Its cheaper than New Jersey! And my friends definitely consider close access to NYC a plus; we met up in NYC just a few weeks ago to have dinner and see a show, no big deal.

In short, Philly is going to be just fine.

TomAuch
August 14th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Philadelphia Story: The Next Borough
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/14/fashion/14philly.xl.jpg
The Khyber, a rock club in the Old City neighborhood.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/08/14/fashion/14philly2.jpg
Transplants: Back row, from left: Matthew Izzo, Michael Anderer, Mark Ax, Rob Eich, Daniel Matz, Anna Neighbor, Kendra Gaeta and Laris Kreslins. Front row: Toko Yasuda, John Schmersal, Laura Watt, Clark Thompson, Gus Thompson and Lydia Thompson. These former New Yorkers were at the Rag Flats home of Ms. Watt and Mr. Thompson.

By JESSICA PRESSLER
Published: August 14, 2005

PHILADELPHIA

WEARING a Paul Green School of Rock T-shirt, his bangs plastered to his forehead in the summer heat, Laris Kreslins pulled in front of a handsome brownstone on Rittenhouse Square, the priciest neighborhood in the city, and hopped out of his car.

"We're going to show you what a real Philly apartment looks like," he said, unlocking the door to reveal a spacious one-bedroom flat sparsely decorated with CD's and copies of music magazines. "As you can see, it has hardwood floors, lots of light and very high ceilings," he said. Then Mr. Kreslins paused and delivered what he knew would be the kicker: "Rent is $800 a month. Heat and electricity included."

Mr. Kreslins isn't selling real estate. He's selling Philadelphia. The publisher of Arthur, a free arts and culture magazine, Mr. Kreslins, 30, lived in a tiny apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, before leaving New York two years ago and ending up in Philadelphia, where he and his girlfriend, Kendra Gaeta, 30, another Brooklynite, bought a four-bedroom house close to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in March and promptly started a Web site, movetophilly.com.

The site, designed to lure 20- and 30-something singles and couples to the city, features a sultry caricature of Patti LaBelle, a longtime resident, who entreats visitors to e-mail for the kind of tour Mr. Kreslins was recently holding, taking visitors to a thrift store, a Polish butcher and his friend Brendan's apartment.

Philadelphians occasionally refer to their city - somewhat deprecatingly - as the "sixth borough" of New York, and with almost 8,000 commuters making the 75-minute train ride between the cities each weekday, the label seems not far off the mark. But Mr. Kreslins and Ms. Gaeta are a new breed of Philadelphia-bound commuters, those who come from New York by train or the popular Chinatown bus for a weekend and then come back, with a U-Haul, to stay.

They are the first wave of what could be called Philadelphia's Brooklynization.

Hard numbers assessing exactly how many new residents are from New York are not available, but real estate brokers are noting an influx of prospective buyers and renters from the city; club owners and restaurant employees have spotted newcomers, on both sides of the bar; and "everyone knows someone who's moved here from New York," said Paul Levy, the executive director of the Center City District, a business improvement group, and himself a former Brooklyn resident.

Attracted by a thriving arts and music scene here and a cost of living that is 37 percent lower than New York's, according to city figures, a significant number of youngish artists, musicians, restaurateurs and designers are leaving New York City and heading down the turnpike for the same reasons they once moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan.

"We got priced out of Manhattan, and we moved to Brooklyn," said John Schmersal, 32, of the three-member band Enon; two of them migrated here in January. "Then we got priced out of Brooklyn. Now we're in Philadelphia."

On a recent Friday night Mr. Schmersal and his girlfriend, Toko Yasuda, were huddled at the bar at the Khyber, a smoky rock institution in the nightclub-heavy Old City neighborhood, a Colonial area of narrow streets bordering the Delaware River east of City Hall, to see Love as Laughter, a New York City band. "We like going to shows here," Mr. Schmersal said. "In New York there are so many people, it's impossible to even get in to see hot bands."

Much less be in a band. "For years I was willing to sacrifice quality of life for artistic fulfillment - you know, you find a circle of artists and you scrape by," said Anna Neighbor, a 27-year-old bass player and Williamsburg exile, between sips of Yuengling lager at a bar in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, an artists' enclave north of City Hall. In January Ms. Neighbor and her husband, Daniel Matz, and Jason McNeely, all members of the indie rock band Windsor for the Derby, decided to leave Brooklyn.

Ms. Neighbor and Mr. Matz discovered Fishtown, a gentrifying blue-collar neighborhood adjacent to Northern Liberties, where, in the last five years, youthful faces with bed head have made their way among the traditionally Irish Catholic residents. They found a three-bedroom row house for $170,000.

"New York is mythologically all about vibrancy and creativity, but it's hard to work a 40-hour week and come home and be Jackson Pollock," said Mr. Matz, 32, a guitarist. He said that by living in Philadelphia he could support himself teaching public school and devote the rest of his time to his band.

A few blocks away from Ms. Neighbor's house live Laura Watt, a 38-year-old painter, and her husband, Clark Thompson, 38, a financial services technician who left his Manhattan-based bank for one in Philadelphia a year ago. They settled in a three-level condominium in a new housing development called Rag Flats in Fishtown with their two children, Gus and Lydia. At $439,000 it was pricier than any of the block's three-story row houses, but with three bedrooms, each with an outdoor deck; solar heat and electricity; a rooftop with spectacular views; and a dumbwaiter going down to the kitchen, they thought it was worth it.

"Philadelphia reminds me a lot of what Brooklyn used to be like," said Ms. Watt, who had lived in Brooklyn and Westchester County for 15 years.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, the idea of Philadelphia as a place to go for quality life would have been laughable to many people, even to Philadelphians. Sandwiched between New York and Washington, Philadelphia was a flyover city - trainover really - a place where a mayor had ordered the bombing of a neighborhood and where Eagles fans reveled in booing their own team, its chief popular exports cheese steaks and "Rocky." While Philadelphia's rich cultural history, like its art museum, its symphony orchestra and its Colonial architecture, gave the city establishment credentials, it did not produce much of an avant-garde.

"The Philadelphia market was really provincial," said Steven Lowy, who opened a gallery in Philadelphia in 1984 but fled back to Manhattan three years later.

Lately the city has stepped up its efforts to woo people back, in part by trying to position Center City as "young and hip and cool," said Meryl Levitz, the president of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, who regularly holds lunches at which she tells the New York media, "We're closer than the Hamptons!"

The campaign had a boost last month when Forbes magazine named Philadelphia No. 12 on its list of best cities for singles (out of 40), a jump from No. 15 a year ago. In 2004 tourists in Philadelphia numbered 25.5 million, an increase of 41 percent in the last five years, and though the city had been losing residents - especially young ones - steadily since the 1950's, when it had 2.07 million people, the population of the city, the nation's fifth-largest, has leveled off at 1.5 million in the last four years.

A government plan to provide the city with free wireless Internet access has as yet gone unrealized, but the national publicity surrounding it has given Philadelphia a progressive image, as has a marketing campaign by the tourism bureau, started in 2003 to attract gay tourists. That tagline was "Get your history straight and your nightlife gay."

"There's a big gay clientele coming down here," said Michael McCann, a real estate agent with Prudential Fox and Roach, who also said he has seen a "significant increase" in buyers from Manhattan and has worked with "a ton" of "single people and couples between 28 and 43" from Brooklyn.

Often they move to start the kind of business they had in New York. Danuta Mieloch, 39, an owner of Rescue Rittenhouse Spa, who administered body scrubs to celebrities at Paul Labrecque on the Upper East Side before moving to Philadelphia to start her own place, is an example. Jose Garces, 33, a former chef at Chicama and Pipa in Gramercy Park, will open Amada, a tapas restaurant in Old City, in September. Matthew Izzo, 35, and his business partner, Mark Ax, 35, defected from New York design firms to start their own home and design boutiques, the Matthew Izzo shops.

"It's just so much more workable here," Mr. Izzo said. "It's smaller and more manageable." And Lindsay Berman, 27, who left a marketing job at the Showtime network in Manhattan, is waiting tables part time at Jones, a 70's throwback diner in Center City, while she gets her T-shirt line, Dirty Old Shirt, off the ground.

Not that everyone is committed for life. Some "can't give up their Brooklyn phone numbers," said Heather Murphy Monteith, a dancer who runs a disco for toddlers. She has noticed 718 and 917 area codes popping up on the contact sheets.

Some keep more than just their digits: Mitzi Wong, 36, a buyer for the Philadelphia-based trend mecca Anthropologie, bought a "Jane Austen-like" row house in Society Hill, the historic Philadelphia neighborhood, but she is keeping her East Village apartment for weekends.

Lee Daniels, a native Philadelphian and producer of the film "Monster's Ball," rents in Harlem but bought a luxury apartment on the Delaware riverfront. "So many people are moving here," Mr. Daniels said. "People just fall in love with it."

Many of the things that were once deterring about Philadelphia have also been turned around. The recent lifting of archaic building ordinances and a 10-year tax abatement on new construction means that blighted factories and brownstones are now being converted, many into luxury apartments, and new buildings are going up in place of weed-filled lots. Bring-your-own restaurants, born out of Pennsylvania's Puritan liquor restrictions, have become a charming hallmark of Center City.

Philadelphia still has its share of urban blight: It ranks higher than New York in homelessness, crime and poverty. It maintains a high position in the Men's Health list of America's Fattest Cities each year, and, as New Yorkers often complain, you would be hard-pressed to find much open after 2 a.m. But the renaissance in real estate and restaurants has aligned with the city's music scene, which runs the gamut of cool.

In a recent conversation Nick Sylvester, who covers Philadelphia music for The Village Voice and Pitchfork Media, an online music magazine, mentions diverse acts like the indie rockers Dr. Dog and Man Man, Beanie Sigel's State Property crew, and D.J.'s Diplo and Dave Pianka.

"Philly's decidedly anti-scene, and that appeals to a lot of musicians that move there," he said. "They can actually do their own thing."

There are art shows of international renown, like the Salvador Dalí show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the spring, and shows by quirky collectives like Space 1026 in Chinatown, which recently housed an installation made with Cheez-Its. All of which has collided with a peculiar cultural moment in which uncool is the new cool, in which blue-collar scrappiness and a surfeit of fried-meat specialties now seems endearingly kitschy.

At least one developer is banking on the hope that Philadelphia's appeal is not just a fleeting fad. On a vast tract of land in Northern Liberties, an area once notable for hate crimes and heroin availability, a 50-year-old former shopping center developer named Bart Blatstein is building a $100 million development. Scheduled for completion in 2007, it will have 1,000 apartments, half a million square feet of ground-floor retail space and 100,000 square feet of industrial-chic office space, all of which Mr. Blatstein says will be offered at reduced rents to "edgy, creative types." The project is seeking New Yorkers. (Mr. Blatstein's company, Tower Properties, plans to advertise both in The Village Voice and on New York's Craigslist.) "We want it to be a cross between Williamsburg and SoHo," he said.

But Mr. Lowy, of Portico gallery in SoHo, is skeptical about the long-run chances for young artists: "The quality of life is pretty good but many of those artists probably won't stay. Can you get an art dealer to come to your studio when you're in Philly? Sure, you have time to make more art, but there's no one to buy it."

TomAuch
August 14th, 2005, 06:37 PM
I like what I'm reading about Philly. Unfortunately, it does have a "flyover" status that gets it passed over for NYC and DC (out of all the Eastern Seaboard cities, I've noticed that Boston, despite having less than a million people, has more prestige than Philly because it isn't flyover or "train-over.")

BTW, did you know that they had a height limit on skyscrapers until the '80s? The rule was that you couldn't build bigger than Ben Franklin's hat atop of City Hall.

JCMAN320
August 14th, 2005, 09:44 PM
Philly is an awesome town who cares about flyover status which I think is BS. I like Philly better than Boston and is a great compliment to NYC and I think is just as good as NYC and has amazing history.

BrooklynRider
August 15th, 2005, 07:31 AM
...The rule was that you couldn't build bigger than Ben Franklin's hat atop of City Hall.

That would be William Penn's hat.

I think Philly is an excellent city that needs to begin developing the parking lots that serve as boundaries between its city zones / neighborhoods..

Cromwell
August 15th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Thanks Auch, I enjoyed the article, although I don't necessarily agree with the headline.

8,000 commuters a day mixing in with a seperate metro of 6 million plus people does not make Philadelphia the next borough of NYC. I grew up in NYC, go to school in Philly and Philadelphia is a very stable city and metro considering it's location between NYC and DC.

While the government was pouring trillions of dollars into metro DC and national and world investors were pouring trillions more into metro NYC, somehow metro Philadelphia has managed to survive nicely pretty much on its own.

RandySavage
August 16th, 2005, 03:42 PM
I just stayed in the Philly Westin last week. There were some fun, packed bars in City Center on a Wednesday night - which goes against City Center's reputation -and a massive foundation well underway for the Comcast Center. That building will be a terrific landmark. With real estate as expensive as it is in Manhattan and Boston, Philly is positioned to be the next city to experience a renaissance as companies and yuppies go there to find more reasonable rents.

TomAuch
August 16th, 2005, 04:50 PM
More good news for Philly....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050816/ap_on_bi_ge/philadelphia_stock_exchange

Four Firms Buying Stakes in Philly Exchange

2 hours, 49 minutes ago

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange announced Tuesday that Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG have each invested in the exchange and could end up being among six financial firms that would own nearly 90 percent of the exchange.

Investment firms worried about acquisitions and growth by the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have been seeking more control of their own stock trading. The big Wall Street firms fear it could become more expensive to trade on the two big exchanges; the move into Philadelphia would give them their own exchange on which to conduct stock and options trading.

Morgan Stanley will invest $7.5 million for 10 percent of the Philadelphia exchange's total shares outstanding. Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS will each invest $3.75 million for 5 percent stakes.

The exchange announced in June that Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citadel Investment Group were each buying a 10 percent stake for $7.5 million each.

If the exchange meets certain performance criteria, the six investment firms can nearly double their stakes. If they do, the six companies could end up owning 89.4 percent of the exchange's stock.

The Philadelphia exchange, founded in 1790, trades in more than 2,000 stocks, 1,700 equity options and 25 sectors' index options as well as currency options and futures. It employs about 400 people.

___

On the Net:

http://www.phlx.com

Cromwell
August 16th, 2005, 06:12 PM
I believe Center City Philly is the third most populous downtown in the country behind NYC and Chicago. Philly's downtown is only about 2 sq. miles with 90,000 people currently. By 2008 there will be 7,500 new condo units adding another 10,000 people to center city. 100,000 middle class to upper middle class people within 2 sq. miles is amazing by any standard but perhaps Manhattan. Center City Philly is becoming a mini Manhattan, of course it doesnt have the waves of tourists and office workers that make Manhattan unique.

Led by Comcast's 975' tower, there are currently nine 25+ story towers going up in center city with as many as 2 dozen others(nearly all residential) announced or soon to be announced.

The one section of Philly that holds the most promise in my opinion is University City, which is directly west of Center City. The U.S. postal service had their Philadlephia operation choking the entire neighborhood but they are currently moving out to SW Philly and Penn has purchased the 40 + acres and plans a mix of condos retail office towers with green space.

ASchwarz
August 16th, 2005, 07:22 PM
I believe Center City Philly is the third most populous downtown in the country behind NYC and Chicago. Philly's downtown is only about 2 sq. miles with 90,000 people currently. By 2008 there will be 7,500 new condo units adding another 10,000 people to center city. 100,000 middle class to upper middle class people within 2 sq. miles is amazing by any standard but perhaps Manhattan. Center City Philly is becoming a mini Manhattan, of course it doesnt have the waves of tourists and office workers that make Manhattan unique.

Led by Comcast's 975' tower, there are currently nine 25+ story towers going up in center city with as many as 2 dozen others(nearly all residential) announced or soon to be announced.

The one section of Philly that holds the most promise in my opinion is University City, which is directly west of Center City. The U.S. postal service had their Philadlephia operation choking the entire neighborhood but they are currently moving out to SW Philly and Penn has purchased the 40 + acres and plans a mix of condos retail office towers with green space.

Cromwell, Philly can't even match the housing starts of little Jersey City. Comparing it to Manhattan (or Brooklyn, for that matter) is absurd. I like Center City and University City is fairly pleasant but most of Philly is still troubled.

I know Northern Liberties fairly well and it is nothing at all like Williamsburg. The article was definitely exaggerating the similarities. There is no way someone could have a Bedford Avenue-type loft hipster lifestyle in Philly.

Cromwell
August 16th, 2005, 11:23 PM
Cromwell, Philly can't even match the housing starts of little Jersey City. Comparing it to Manhattan (or Brooklyn, for that matter) is absurd. I like Center City and University City is fairly pleasant but most of Philly is still troubled.

I know Northern Liberties fairly well and it is nothing at all like Williamsburg. The article was definitely exaggerating the similarities. There is no way someone could have a Bedford Avenue-type loft hipster lifestyle in Philly.

Who's exaggerating now? To imply Philadelphia is on par with Jersey City is flat out ridiculous.

Center City Philly is 1/10th the geographical size of Manhattan, yet it has one of the best, albeit vertically modest, skyscraper districts in the entire country. Adding 3 dozen 30+ story towers in the next 5 years to the already dense mid and high rises makes center City Philly a micro-Manhattan without the tourists. 36 towers in Center City is the comparitive equivalent to 360 in Manhattan in pure geographical terms..

I didn't compare it to Manhattan per se.

Some of Philly is still troubled. Most would be an incorrect statement. 1/4 of the city is off the charts beautiful. 1/4 is god awful. The other 1/2 is a solid living breathing middle class city.

I'm not a big fan of northern liberties. I agree with you 100% there.

TLOZ Link5
August 17th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Latest crime reports for the city of Philadelphia show that murders are down more than 30% compared to last year.

http://ucr.psp.state.pa.us/UCR/Reporting/Monthly/Summary/MonthlySumOffenseUI.asp?rbSet=4

Meanwhile, in Camden...

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/12308139.htm


Crime in Camden decreased significantly in July, compared to the same period last year, Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi and Camden Police Chief Edwin J. Figueroa announced yesterday.

Eleven people were murdered in the city in July 2004, one last month. So far this year, there have been 17 murders, compared to 34 at this time last year.

"Our message is about more than statistics," the two men wrote in a letter to community leaders. "It is a message of hope and encouragement for those who live, work and visit in Camden."

injcsince81
August 17th, 2005, 09:59 PM
Who's exaggerating now? To imply Philadelphia is on par with Jersey City is flat out ridiculous.

Center City Philly is 1/10th the geographical size of Manhattan, yet it has one of the best, albeit vertically modest, skyscraper districts in the entire country. Adding 3 dozen 30+ story towers in the next 5 years to the already dense mid and high rises makes center City Philly a micro-Manhattan without the tourists. 36 towers in Center City is the comparitive equivalent to 360 in Manhattan in pure geographical terms..

I didn't compare it to Manhattan per se.

Some of Philly is still troubled. Most would be an incorrect statement. 1/4 of the city is off the charts beautiful. 1/4 is god awful. The other 1/2 is a solid living breathing middle class city.

I'm not a big fan of northern liberties. I agree with you 100% there.

Philly's cool.

It has soul, unlike so many American cities, which become ghosttowns after 6 pm, when everyone flees to their sad, lookalike burbs.

I hope it does well.

Philly is like a smaller NYC, Boston, Chicago - a real town, with real people.

I've always liked Philly.

Alonzo-ny
October 8th, 2005, 03:43 PM
i was in philly for half a day last month and found it very unpleasant. I admittedly didnt have time to explore it all but i found it boring and pretty harsh

TLOZ Link5
October 8th, 2005, 04:10 PM
i was in philly for half a day last month and found it very unpleasant. I admittedly didnt have time to explore it all but i found it boring and pretty harsh

Ouch. How did you spend your time there?

redhot00
October 8th, 2005, 04:46 PM
i was in philly for half a day last month and found it very unpleasant. I admittedly didnt have time to explore it all but i found it boring and pretty harsh

Well at least you spent enough time there to be able to give it a fair assessment.

Alonzo-ny
October 8th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Well at least you spent enough time there to be able to give it a fair assessment.

Are you stupid? It says in my quote which YOU posted i said admittedly i didnt have time to explore it all, it wasnt a choice but from the time i had it was unpleasant. You dont have to be in a city forever to feel the atmosphere. I found it very unwelcoming. i felt very much an outsider. I felt for a city that big it was uncomfortably quiet. How i spent my time TLOZ was just walking around from the bus station all the way to the museum of art.

stache
October 8th, 2005, 10:29 PM
How i spent my time TLOZ was just walking around from the bus station all the way to the museum of art.

IMO this is one of the major problems with Philly. It is extremely difficult and dangerous to walk to the museum. I have looked at maps and tried it different ways but you always have to cross a parkway without a decent stoplight to get there. I don't know what they were thinking in the 1930's when they redid that area. Plus the bus that goes there only runs every half hour.

Azazello
October 9th, 2005, 12:58 AM
[This post will be edited over time as more thoughts come to me.]

I'm from Philly. Born, raised, lived there most of my life, in probably a dozen different locations within the city limits. (If you're from Philly, you know how important this bragging right is - so many people you meet from the area may say they're from Philly, but are really from the burbs or a nearby town.)

First let me state that I do not think Philly can be "saved". It lies in the shadows of New York AND Washington, DC - they completely block any shine from Philly. The suburbs around it not only have more people than within the city limits, they've built an infrastructure of jobs, businesses, education, recreation, etc. which do not depend on Philly in any way.

No matter how "trendy" or culturally unique Philly may try to be, NYC will always beat it out. Philly just moves at too slow a speed to ever catch up to NYC in terms pop or modern culture, let alone try to outpace it.

On a social level, Philly is very much still a racially-divided, racially-divisive, conservative, POOR town. Sound familar? Thank God it is not located below sea level. No amount of new skyscrapers, "luxury" apartments, urban shopping malls, or cultural attractions are going to make the place a City: a cohesive urban community where people want to stay, grow up, raise their families. Philly is not a City, it is a Large Small Town. NYC is the kind of place that people from all around the world dream of visiting and living. Philly is the kind of place that even the residents dream of leaving.

Philly is not dying, it is already dead. Not as in a ghost town or graveyard. More like an acropolis, a purgatory landscape which feels like it exists in a shadowland between sunlight and darkness. Shamalan was right to cast Philly in Sixth Sense - truly you don't know if you're seeing or even speaking to living or dead people. David Lynch said the worst times of his life were spent in Philly (remember Erasehead)? I agree with him.

OK, the point of the thread is what could save Philly. I go with the suggestions of the article's author - stick to being a simple, working-stiff, family-friendly town. Don't try to be cool, don't go for trendy, don't even go for being a cultural center. There's enough history and culture in the city to more than keep residents and tourists happy. Stick to basics. Philly's already a family-oriented town, it needs to get stronger in this focus.

I completely agree that Philly should make itself a focus for immigrants to reside there, as they will bring a social vibrancy that has been lacking there for decades.

redhot00
October 9th, 2005, 10:17 AM
Are you stupid? It says in my quote which YOU posted i said admittedly i didnt have time to explore it all, it wasnt a choice but from the time i had it was unpleasant. You dont have to be in a city forever to feel the atmosphere. I found it very unwelcoming. i felt very much an outsider. I felt for a city that big it was uncomfortably quiet. How i spent my time TLOZ was just walking around from the bus station all the way to the museum of art.

Are you? You must be if you pass judgment on a city that you only spent half a day in. If you admittedly didn't spend much time there, why would you post a message passing judgment on it? I've never been to Glasgow, so I'd never even think to pass judgment on it on a public forum. And if I walked from a bus or train station to a museum in Glasgow, I still wouldn't pass judgment on it. It seems to me that you posted that message for the purpose of criticizing Philly and no other reason.

redhot00
October 9th, 2005, 10:19 AM
IMO this is one of the major problems with Philly. It is extremely difficult and dangerous to walk to the museum. I have looked at maps and tried it different ways but you always have to cross a parkway without a decent stoplight to get there. I don't know what they were thinking in the 1930's when they redid that area. Plus the bus that goes there only runs every half hour.

There are traffic problems with the Ben Franklin Parkway, the main thoroughfare that leads to the museum. But a walk from Center City, along the parkway to me has always been a pleasant experience. Aesthetically, it's one of America's most attractive boulevards.

AmeriKenArtist
October 9th, 2005, 11:39 AM
I have visited Philadelphia periodically over the last three decades. I've stayed for extended weekends and did spontaneous day trips. I enjoy this city. Once I was in town for a series of boxing matches at the Blue Horizon. After all the bouts, my friend and I went outside to hail a cab. It was late at night. A native noticed us and said that we should take this NEXT cab. He told us that this section of town is very unsafe! We were waiting behind a small crowd. This guy walked briskly to the cab and waved us into it. That was the closest I may have been to an unpleasant experience. All other times were good times and I have great memories of Philly!

I am just a long-time visitor. I understand how things change when living in the city. I lived in Boston for five years. When I first visited Beantown I immediately wanted to move there! Eventually I did. Slowly the magic disappeared and I had to put up with the T being so damned inefficient and shutting down every night! I had to deal with waiters and cooks and other service people not ever getting my food order correct! Any city is actually two major cities, depending which side of the coin you exist on. Native or visitor. The only exception are those with enough wealth to make any location a paradise!

My old friend once said "Cities are great if you have plenty of cash. You can live on the top of a tower. Take the limo to your jet. And go to another "home" in another part of the world!"

I'll be in NYC this coming weekend. In and out....... then back to a quiet little town. I still want to live in a city. (sigh).........

Alonzo-ny
October 10th, 2005, 08:25 AM
Are you? You must be if you pass judgment on a city that you only spent half a day in. If you admittedly didn't spend much time there, why would you post a message passing judgment on it? I've never been to Glasgow, so I'd never even think to pass judgment on it on a public forum. And if I walked from a bus or train station to a museum in Glasgow, I still wouldn't pass judgment on it. It seems to me that you posted that message for the purpose of criticizing Philly and no other reason.

Thats what my whole post was saying that FROM WHAT I SAW IN THE SHORT TIME I WAS THERE i didnt like it. Id happily change my mind if i went again and saw the parts of philly i didnt see last time. It wasnt final judgement on philly, i clearly said that i didnt enjoy my time in philly, not that i thought the place was crap.

*Rita*
October 11th, 2005, 05:29 PM
People dont like Philly because its not full of yuppies, its not full of people who only care about themselves, and most likely probably because it has a large black population.:rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
October 11th, 2005, 07:21 PM
I think people hate Philly because it has a large fat population.

Although Houston has had that title for 2 years now.

Philly should get the word out. It would improve its image.

Cromwell
October 11th, 2005, 08:08 PM
Are you? You must be if you pass judgment on a city that you only spent half a day in. If you admittedly didn't spend much time there, why would you post a message passing judgment on it?

Hey at least he was actually in the city for a period of time in the last decade. Azazello brandished the city of Philadlephia unsaveable due in large part from a quote from David Lynch circa 1970. Go figure.

*Rita*
October 11th, 2005, 08:44 PM
I think people hate Philly because it has a large fat population.

Although Houston has had that title for 2 years now.

Philly should get the word out. It would improve its image.
America is fat.:eek:

Azazello
October 11th, 2005, 09:31 PM
Cromwell, that is not true. If you had actually read my post, you would know that I am a Philly native. Are you?

Lynch's sentiments mirror my own, and he only lived there a few years. I left Philly in '98 but do still have the misfortune of having to visit there about once a month or two.

Cromwell
October 11th, 2005, 09:54 PM
Cromwell, that is not true. If you had actually read my post, you would know that I am a Philly native. Are you?

Lynch's sentiments mirror my own, and he only lived there a few years. I left Philly in '98 but do still have the misfortune of having to visit there about once a month or two.

It doesn't matter if you are a native or not. That doesn't make you correct.

David Lynch lived in Philadlephia for 2 years in the post riot era of 1970. If he had gone to school in NYC in 1970 he would have said the same thing about manhattan,Bronx,Queens or Brooklyn. Every city east of the Mississippi was a war zone in the 70's. Case in point on how ignorant your comment was. The neighborhood David Lynch lived in(University City) while he studied in Philly was recently named the (2003)top urban renewal neighborhood in the world by a european civic organization. Trust me Lynch's opinion of Philadlephia would be drastically different if he studied in Philadelphia 2005.

Your post was bizarre. I think Shyamalan had the right city but cast the wrong leading man. You, not Bruce Willis appears not to be among the living. At least as far as 2005 Philadlephia is concerned.

Center City(2.2 sq.miles) Philly will have 12,000 new housing units from 2002-2010. hardly call that a dead city.

Cromwell
October 11th, 2005, 10:34 PM
Next Great City. Philly

Azazello perhaps you gain a tip or two so your next trip to Philadelphia will not be so misfortunate.


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/features/philly0510/philly.html

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/images/spacer.gifhttp://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/images/spacer.gifNext Great City: Philly, Really
Text by Andrew Nelson Photograph by Raymond Patrick http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/images/philly0510/philly_hdr.jpg
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/images/spacer.gifGeno's Steaks on Ninth Street sells cheesesteaks, Philly's guiltiest pleasure.




After decades of relative obscurity, Philadelphia, a classic American city, is ready to step back into the national limelight.


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/images/alphabet/alph_y.gifou don't usually don white tie and tails for a birthday party, but then, how often do you celebrate the birthday of a hotel? Yet, here we are—me, Walter Cronkite, and 1,854 other guests assembled to help blow out the candles for the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Philadelphia's Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, "the grand dame of Broad Street." As the crush in the lobby grows, I seek refuge from Philadelphia's elite on a spiral, marble staircase from which I can survey the scene. F. Scott Fitzgerald got it wrong, I think. There are second acts in American life—for hotels, certainly, and, yes, for entire cities.

When the (then) Bellevue-Stratford debuted in 1904, the elegant, 1,170-room French-Renaissance wedding cake embodied Philadelphia's status as one of America's premier metropolises. But as the decades passed, the Bellevue, and Philadelphia itself, lost their sheen. In 1976, Legionnaires' disease killed 29 of the Bellevue's guests, and the hotel closed for over a decade. That same year, Sylvester Stallone's Rocky brought worldwide exposure to the City of Brotherly Love—but as a synonym for gritty urban decay. Indeed, residents were fleeing the city's core just as more vibrant urban areas were coming into their own.

My theory is that, like dogs, each city has its day. In the 1960s, people flocked to San Francisco; in the '70s, Dallas and Houston got hot; during the '80s, it was Miami, full of vice and sockless loafers; in the '90s, grungy Seattle became Nirvana. Now, in the new century, the Bellevue is back, and it's Philly's turn for the limelight.

"I've long thought of Philadelphia as the Next Great American City," says Tony Goldman, a real-estate developer who invests in nascent urban neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, Miami Beach, and, more recently, here in Philly. "But it's just now being recognized and celebrated for it."

Moreover, says urban planner Richard Florida, who wrote The Rise of the Creative Class, Philadelphia is showing itself to be an "open city," a term that separates America's urban dynamos like San Francisco and Miami from struggling cities like Cleveland and St. Louis. "Open cities welcome people—singles, gays, artists and individuals," he says. "They have excitement and a sense of creative energy."

For years, I've been hearing great things about this city of 1.4 million on the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. Newspaper articles speak of innovative development projects. Friends return from visits amazed that the nightlife is actually lively. "It's no longer D.C. on a bad hair day," as one jokes.

Philadelphia, I discover, comprises 152 distinct neighborhoods, ranging from working-class South Philly to yuppified Manayunk to ivied University City to up-and-coming Northern Liberties and Fishtown. But it is the Center City, the heart of downtown, that's energizing the rebirth. Trendy restaurants and condominiums abound. A soon-to-be-completed Cesar Pelli skyscraper, the Cira Centre, just across the Schuylkill River, forms a daring twist in the cityscape. The striking Kimmel Center, with its digital-age design, is the new home of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Philly, the only U.S. venue chosen for Live 8, last summer's multinational rock concert, is clearly on a roll. The city's official promoters have been aggressively marketing it to everyone from Canadians to gays to MTV execs. There's more to Philly, you'll hear, than Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Like public art? Philly has some 2,400 murals. Razzle-dazzle? At the National Constitution Center museum, the nation's most hallowed document is celebrated with Vegas-style glitz. Street parties? Odunde, an annual Nigerian-inspired summer festival, attracts over 300,000 revelers. Enough visitors heed Philly's call that Southwest and Frontier airlines started service here last year, and the cruise terminal on the Delaware now offers 32 annual sailings.

A few months after the Bellevue bash, I step into the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to see an 1822 self-portrait by Charles Willson Peale. The artist depicts himself raising a curtain, beckoning visitors into his Philadelphia museum. Inspired, I've enlisted modern Philadelphians to lift the curtain on their city for me.


I MEET KYLE FARLEY IN A coffee shop, appropriately enough, in the Bellevue's lobby. He looks more urban hipster than history scholar. Farley runs Poor Richard's Walking Tours, devoted to bringing Philly's past to life. I'm game.




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*Rita*
October 11th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Cromwell, that is not true. If you had actually read my post, you would know that I am a Philly native. Are you?

Lynch's sentiments mirror my own, and he only lived there a few years. I left Philly in '98 but do still have the misfortune of having to visit there about once a month or two.
The way you talk about philly , its would seem like you last visited in the 80's. A city that is building thousands of townhomes, highrises and gentrifying like crazy is hardly what i would call dead. philly sucked in the 80s-90s but thats not the case now.
If you hate the place, theres no reason to keep torturing yourself and keep going back. its as simple as that.

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Philadelphia's such an anomaly, it seems: vibrant, attractive, booming and gentrified inner city, while much of the rest seems like Detroit or South Bronx.

Mick17
October 12th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Philadelphia's such an anomaly, it seems: vibrant, attractive, booming and gentrified inner city, while much of the rest seems like Detroit or South Bronx.

I think this is where Philly gets a bad rap. Theres so much more to Philly than a vibrant center city and the ghettos. Don't forget that from 1700 to 1850 this was the most important city in the country, the infrastructure , the architecture, the money that went into this city in the early years of this country are astounding.

Without question Philly has it's share of urban blight but where Philly doesn't get its due is the upper middle class neighborhoods that no one has ever heard of. Chestnut Hill, Mt.Airy, Overbrook, Manayunk, and Roxborough come to mind. Cedar Park in West Philly is one of the most amazing Victorian neighborhoods you will ever visit. Northeast Philly has 300,000 middle class people leaving peacefully but you would never know it existed from the perception by outsiders..

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Chestnut Hill, Mt.Airy, Overbrook, Manayunk, and Roxborough come to mind. Cedar Park in West Philly is one of the most amazing Victorian neighborhoods you will ever visit. Northeast Philly has 300,000 middle class people leaving peacefully but you would never know it from the perception by outsiders..
Chestnut Hill's probably the finest planned suburb in the country; it's a send-up of conventional zoning. But you do have to pass through Germantown to get there.

The other places you list are pretty nice too, and not all that obscure. Sorry I omitted them, but I was talking about a limted subject: the anomaly.

Mick17
October 12th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Chestnut Hill's probably the finest planned suburb in the country; it's a send-up of conventional zoning. But you do have to pass through Germantown to get there.

The other places you list are pretty nice too, and not all that obscure. Sorry I omitted them, but I was talking about a limted subject: the anomaly.

Chestnut Hill is actually a section of NW Philadelphia.Dates back to the early 18th century, it was the vacation resort of the early founding fathers. Still to this day it is one of the nicest neighborhoods of any major city in the usa. That being said the segregation in Philadelphia is striking. I've taken that trip up Germantown Avenue and it defies explanation. Within a half mile you will see the best this country has to offer and the worst it has to offer. You are correct there is a huge divide occurring in much of Philadelphia.

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Mick, You’re right that Chestnut Hill dates to colonial times, but its present defining charcter is the result of much more recent planning activity.

In the early 1880s, Henry Howard Houston, a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, bought three farms comprising more than 3,000 acres. The parcel bordered Germantown and encompassed what is now Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill, Roxborough, and Andorra.

Houston engineered a spur railroad line to service the area, and built the required infrastructure and approximately 100 houses that were either sold or leased to tenants. The infrastructure included streets, railroad lines, and railroad stations.

By bringing the railroad to Chestnut Hill, summer vacationers were enabled to escape the heat of Center City and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Wissahickon Valley. To attract the vacationers, Houston also built The Wissahickon Inn (Chestnut Hill Academy today), St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, The Philadelphia Cricket Club, and sporting fields.

Around 1910, Houston's son-in-law, George Woodward, furthered the family's real estate interests by purchasing a group of dilapidated houses east of Germantown Avenue. He replaced them with an attractive collection of twin houses that were so popular, a waiting list was implemented that is still in effect today. Dr. Woodward established George Woodward, Inc. in 1921 and went on to build over 300 houses, including single homes, more twins, and a new experiment in home building — the quadruple house (four units under one roof).

It's all reminiscent of Forest Hills, Queens, even to the predominantly Tudor architecture. That project was planned by the Olmsted Brothers.

In addition to providing good architecture and urban design, Houston and Woodward were also devoted and supporting citizens. The family's donations to the city included the Houston School, the Water Tower Recreation Center, Pastorius Park, a large part of the Wissahickon Valley, the Schuykill Valley Nature Center, and Houston Hall on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Chestnut Hill is considered one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods and is registered as a National Historic District.

Though within the city limits of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill is sufficiently unlike other parts of this city that a visitor would guess it to be a separate municipality. It has its own take on appropriate zoning and very active community particpation in all aspects of local decision making.

Mick, will they restore the streetcar?

Jude1017
October 12th, 2005, 02:43 PM
I was browsing this thread, and there was alot of negativity - fat people, ghettos, cheesesteaks (not negative - but may have to do with all these fat Italians - i'm Italian) --- but lets talk about the comcast building going up! that thing is glorious!

ZippyTheChimp
October 12th, 2005, 03:09 PM
We're way ahead of you (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5623&page=2&highlight=comcast)

*Rita*
October 12th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Philly looking like detroit or the south bronx? What kind of rediculous statement is that?. Its almost as rediculous as saying NY is a dump outside of Mahattan.Philly has some pretty bad areas,but most of it is stable.
And Germantown has very nice areas also. Its east germantown that isnt appealing.

*Rita*
October 12th, 2005, 03:42 PM
I was browsing this thread, and there was alot of negativity - fat people, ghettos, cheesesteaks (not negative - but may have to do with all these fat Italians - i'm Italian) --- but lets talk about the comcast building going up! that thing is glorious!
theres a thread about that

*Rita*
October 12th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Chestnut Hill is actually a section of NW Philadelphia.Dates back to the early 18th century, it was the vacation resort of the early founding fathers. Still to this day it is one of the nicest neighborhoods of any major city in the usa. That being said the segregation in Philadelphia is striking. I've taken that trip up Germantown Avenue and it defies explanation. Within a half mile you will see the best this country has to offer and the worst it has to offer. You are correct there is a huge divide occurring in much of Philadelphia.
If you take germantown all the way up, you enter north philly

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Philly looking like detroit or the south bronx? What kind of rediculous statement is that?.
Take Amtrak north out of Philly; you'll eat your words.

Strictly Third World.

Calling it like the South Bronx might actually be too kind in view of how much the Bronx has improved of late.

*Rita*
October 12th, 2005, 04:00 PM
Take Amtrak north out of Philly; you'll eat your words.

Calling it like the South Bronx might actually be too kind in view of how much the Bronx has improved of late.
Yes I know. thats north philly. But I could of sworn you said ALL of Philly is like that.

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 04:02 PM
^ Nobody said that.

*Rita*
October 12th, 2005, 04:12 PM
Philadelphia's such an anomaly, it seems: vibrant, attractive, booming and gentrified inner city, while much of the rest seems like Detroit or South Bronx.
This statement sure sounds like it.
But, after decades of decline I would expect that to be peoples views.Itll take a long time to repair the blighted areas of philly.

ablarc
October 12th, 2005, 04:16 PM
This statement sure sounds like it.
Doesn't.

"Much of the rest" is not the same as "all the rest."

What's the point of precise language if it's read cavalierly?

stache
October 12th, 2005, 08:01 PM
Calling it like the South Bronx might actually be too kind in view of how much the Bronx has improved of late.

I agree. South Bronx looks WAY better than North Philly.

Cromwell
October 13th, 2005, 01:20 AM
I see a Philly that has kind of been laying in the weeds, taking it all in, observing other cities focusing in on their strong points. I don't necessarily mean Philadlephia City Council or the government. More so the private sector, businesses, trusts and local organizations especially in center city that have developed this never before seen attitude like watch out we've been doing our homework and are ready to make a move.

In the next 10 years you will begin to see the merger of Center City and University City. It will transform Philadelphia from a "lets take the kids to the historic distric city into whoa "Philadelphia has really blossomed and you need to see this place ,type city.

Azazello
October 13th, 2005, 02:13 AM
It doesn't matter if you are a native or not. That doesn't make you correct.There is one thing that being a native and former resident makes me – well-informed. Does that make me more correct than you? Let’s see how my ignorance of the town compares to yours.


Philly was recently named the (2003)top urban renewal neighborhood in the world by a european civic organizationPlease provide us a link to this report. I want to see which criteria this organization used to make their judgment, and which other candidates were considered. Winning such distinctions, no matter how prestigious, is not going to guarantee that people will move into your neighborhood, or make the properties worth buying.

The distinction is also suspect. Although there are some impressive commercial developments that have surely increased the value of U.C., I see nothing there that’s more impressive than the renewal occurring in Northern Liberties or North Philly near Temple Univ, especially in terms of residential development.

If you lived in the area you would know that U.C. has been continually developing since the late 70s, guided by investments and planning from Univ of Penn, and guidance from George Funderberg, the founder of Urban Developer, an influential real estate broker in the area. They ensured that U.C. did not fall into total urban decay and did a damn great job of it. Most of the properties within Penn’s embrace are well-maintained and reasonably affordable; nothing stellar but nothing to sneer at either. Despite all of this, there is no cohesive community of residents in U.C. because of the transient nature of the student body. It is not a family-oriented neighborhood, it is not a commercial strip (except for Penn itself), and it is not a trendy, happening or gentrified area. It is a college town, and not much more. Penn was able to hold back the urban blight, but could not prevent the resident flight.


Case in point on how ignorant your comment was. The neighborhood David Lynch lived in(University City)I’m not sure which Google search you pulled from, but Lynch did not live in University City. Sure, depending on which real estate broker you talk to, everything west of Univ of Penn and east of 52nd St is U.C. This is not true, of course. I've never heard or read exactly which street Lynch lived on (I'm sure even he has forgotten, it’s been over 30 years), but he has said he lived “near the morgue” – this info is on his official website, in a transcript of one of his interviews. I searched for where a morgue could have been in the 70’s in the U.C. area; no luck, but it had to be located either in a part of the Univ of Penn hospital complex (which is in U.C. but is too far from the area that Lynch describes as where he lived) or in/near Woodlands Cemetery which is in one of the neighborhoods that border U.C. Regardless, Lynch probably lived in either Spruce Hill, Woodland Terrace, or Kingsessing – these are south and west of U.C. My bet is on this last one. A high school friend lived in that area took me to the street (little area, really) that either inspired or is the actual place shot in first scene of Erasehead. Lynch obviously saw this place, and he must have lived within walking distance of it because there is no reason to go there – it’s in a kind of cul-de-sac off of a very low-key residential street.

The other reason I referenced Lynch in my post was because I lived near his ‘hood and near U.C. I lived in Cedar Park, which is literally a suburb in an urban setting. I see it’s been mentioned in another post. Cedar Park neighborhood is a marvel to see and I encourage you to go there. Trust me – if Lynch had lived in Cedar Park, even in the 70s, his opinion of Philadelphia would have been drastically different.


I think Shyamalan had the right city but cast the wrong leading man. You, not Bruce Willis appears not to be among the living. At least as far as 2005 Philadlephia is concerned.Shyamalan likes Philly, loves it even. But he knows what the place is like, which he showed excellently in his first two films. He’s not going to say that sh*t smells like roses when it doesn’t. And it doesn’t in Philly-town.

Have you even been to Philly? 2005 or otherwise? Be careful of your answer, you may be quizzed later.


Your post is bizarre.Finally, something we agree on, at least partially.

I reread my post thinking that I had wrote something offensive; if I had I would have apologized. Although the language is flowery (I do apology for that), I take no word back. Philly is a strangely quiet, shadowy place, even in areas that should be bustling. Not in a quiet-peaceful way, but in a quiet-RIP, and also a quiet-living-in-the-past, way. It’s hard to adequately explain but here’s one real example. Stay there long enough, you will see and hear something that I’ve not noticed elsewhere in my travels – many people talking to themselves. Not just homeless people, not just the elderly, but folks who look no different from what you would see on a regular subway or bus ride. Not just mumbling or rambling but having out-&-out conversations with…themselves? Someone else? You see this with such a frequency that is more than odd - it is bizarre. I know it sounds weird but you must go and witness it for yourself.


Philly will have 12,000 new housing units from 2002-2010
A city that is building thousands of townhomes, highrises and gentrifying like crazy is hardly what i would call dead.Where is this info coming from? Again, this is suspect speculation. If you knew Center City, you would ask: Where will these units go? (There are not many empty plots in the area for property expansion.) Exactly what area is being called ‘Center City’ in this planning? Will the units be houses or apartments? Are they new developments, or expansions to or swap-outs of existing ones?

Phila has been “gentrifying like crazy” for at least 20 years. It is not surprising that C.C. is having the most growth. For over 10 years, public investment has mostly gone into making C.C. more attractive to commercial and residential investors. It is good policy and I do not disagree with it. Phila’s downtown is definitely a cleaner, more well-mannered and organized place than it has been for decades.

Yet these new physical developments, in C.C. and elsewhere, do not guarantee that people will live in them. This is a point that has been stated several times in this thread, is one of the main point of the article in the first post, and one I strongly agree with it. Despite what you may want to believe, or what may seem like common sense, property development occurs in Phila whether or not there is an assurance that customers will be buy into them. There are already housing developments, “new” and modern ones that are less than 10 years old, which still do not have a high occupancy percentage. I don’t really understand why this speculative development happens, especially in a place like Phila, but my guess is that developers/owners are banking on future sales once “the economy improves” or the population grows or some similar reasoning. It’s the “Waiting to Exhale” approach to property development.

Throughout Phila you will find areas with relatively new and modern housing, but very few people living there. Proof: go visit the area centered around 2nd St between Girard and Spring Garden Aves; the modern residential renovations in Olde Ciy (north of Market St) and Society Hill (south of Walnut St); the gentrified section of west Fairmount (near Jack's Firehouse and around Eastern State Penitentiary); the failed modern housing development at 32nd and Baring (which has the most enviable view of the city skyline, the closest residential one I believe, below Germantown). Philly is not lacking for housing, it’s lacking for people to buy and live in them.

You may not think a place is ‘dead’ because it has nice, new, modern accoutrements. Ever been to a funeral?



The way you talk about philly, its would seem like you last visited in the 80's… If you hate the place, theres no reason to keep torturing yourself and keep going back. its as simple as that.*Rita*, the sad fact is that I’m relating what you can see today. It is a view - one view - from those residential neighborhoods that are not in the tourist areas, and not in the freshly-scrubbed face of Center City.

I have to go there because of family. But I always try to do something enjoyable before I leave each visit, so it is not as bad as I dramatized.


Next Great City: Philly, ReallyCromwell, the NatGeo article is promising. Yet Philly has been in Renaissance every 5 years since the early 90s. It’s not going to be the ‘Next Great’ anything, unless it can snag some part of the American psyche that makes people want to move there. After reading the article, do any of you now want to move there?


Look, there are a LOT of good things about Philly. I love my last home-neighborhood of Cedar Park, and my friends who are there. There are a few places around the town that are as-good or better than NY spots (shameless plug for Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus!). The most progressive advancements in art and culture that I’ve seen or experienced in Philly are happening because of people who are not native to Philly.

After all of this, I do want to change my overall opinion of Phila’s prospects. I believe the place is saveable. I believe it will one day be a real city. I believe it can succeed if it follows the conclusions of the article in the first post. Phila’s not going to win the War on Trend. Sorry, it never has, it never will. Like the article states, there are only so many yuppies in the world, and they’re not going to Phila in large enough number to sustain long-term growth. The town has to pull out its best assets and sell them strongly: encourage more businesses to locate there; promote and develop a family-centric agenda in its housing and social arenas; spend more money and encourage development in neighborhoods that are not near Center City.


Cromwell, I’m calling you out… You and me, let’s go to Phila. *Rita*, you can come too. We pick a Saturday, take the regular bus for $20, or the “chicken bus” for $12, and spend the day touring parts of the town. I’ll show you the lows and highs of Azazello’s Philadelphia, and will try to ensure that you see everything I’ve been talking about. If you do this, you may still come back with a different opinion than mine, but you will see that everything I’ve written here is true.

Are you game?

Cromwell
October 13th, 2005, 12:56 PM
Azazello. We are at two totally opposite ends of the spectrum. You being a life long resident of Philly who moved to Nyc 8 years ago. I am a NYC native who went to school in Philly and currently live here.

Admittedly you probably lived in Philly through it's darkest days. I didn't get to witnesss the 70's and 80's Philadlephia in person. I do see some remnants of a troubled past but for the most part I'm glad to be here to see a pretty impressive renaissance underway(at least as far as Center City is concerned)

I'm already down here in Philly. If you want to come down and compare notes I'm all for it.

Manhattan is kind of maxed out with little room for improvement. I kind of enjoy being down here in center city Philly, a work in progress with a pretty high ceiling.

*Rita*
October 13th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Azazello, I know Philly like the back of my hand. I do agree with what you said about the business piece because Philly is lagging far behind as far as attracting business into the city. But what i dont like is peoples perceptions about Philadelphia and the people who live here. And I have to say it bothers me.

Mick17
October 13th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Ablarc, good info there about Chestnut Hill.



Where is this info coming from? Again, this is suspect speculation. If you knew Center City, you would ask: Where will these units go? (There are not many empty plots in the area for property expansion.) Exactly what area is being called ‘Center City’ in this planning? Will the units be houses or apartments? Are they new developments, or expansions to or swap-outs of existing ones?

The housing growth figures for center city was fairly accurate. There will be over 10,000 new units in cc by the end of the decade. Constituted by a mix of class b+ c office conversion into condo's. There are easily 15 new condo projects underway, anywhere from 10 stories to 45 stories. With 2 dozen more in the pipeline.

10 year property tax abatement on new housing is the main ingredient. Also Center City has marketed itself to suburban empty nesters and people from here in NYC and DC who can get a touch of cosmopolitan city living at half the price. Philadelphia definitely is not a real estate market based on speculation. 90% of the people who buy in center city ultimately end up living in center city.

Azazello
October 15th, 2005, 02:50 PM
Cromwell I'll be in Philly in early Nov. I'll check with you then.

zur
October 22nd, 2005, 09:23 AM
Cromwell I'll be in Philly in early Nov. I'll check with you then.

Good.

The rest of us "long time residents" would like to have a word with you.

Were will you be so we can meet you?

*Rita*
October 22nd, 2005, 10:12 AM
Ill see if I can come too

eldondre
October 22nd, 2005, 10:57 AM
Cromwell, Philly can't even match the housing starts of little Jersey City. Comparing it to Manhattan (or Brooklyn, for that matter) is absurd. I like Center City and University City is fairly pleasant but most of Philly is still troubled.

I know Northern Liberties fairly well and it is nothing at all like Williamsburg. The article was definitely exaggerating the similarities. There is no way someone could have a Bedford Avenue-type loft hipster lifestyle in Philly. Actually, Center City Philly
is indeed the third most populous downtown in the US. While it's hard to get an accurate count, I believe it's roughly 85,000 in 2 sq miles. Not a lot by NYC standards, but a lot for most American cities(obviously).
2) anything outside center city was a separate suburb or city until the consolidation in 1854. Northern Liberties used to be an independent city...in fact it was named for being just outside the jursidiction of philly and all its taxes and regulations.
3) Please do no try to understand our city in terms of NYC. We are not NYC, nor are we NYC lite. We are not dead nor dying. struggling? yes. rennaissance? yes.
4) Philly biggest stumbling block is indeed an inability to be attractive to business. This stems from our incompetent, corrupt government....largely. There are a lto of reasons for our city's decline. the most blighted areas are, in fact, the old manufacturing centers. Philadelphia was the wealthiest city in the country at the turn of the last century. Much of it derived from manufacturing. Philadelphia was so closely associated with quality products that a NY entrepreneur used the name to describe his cream cheese. Urban manufacturing took its first hit in the 1930's and never really recovered. We're all too familiar with the long, slow decline of American production. Without going any further in depth, the city certainly reacted in the wrong ways.
5) We aren't hip wannabes like that schlub auther thinks, we are anti-trend. we is what we is.
6) We have more than a touch of cosmopolitan. In fact, we are by far the most underrated city on the east coast. If you're not a certain kind of yuppie, we have more to offer than any city outside NY. Boston is boring and sedate. DC is fake. NY, well, we don't offer more, but we do offer different. the constant push and bustle isn't for everyone. Some people prefer a more relaxed approach to a city. I like our chances, particularly if we can get tax reform.
The worst thing we did was get rid of Timoney. We def could use a Guliani type emphasis on qaulity of life. you can keep bloomberg. cheers!
PS-I'd like to thank azazello for leaving as it undoubtedly has had a positive impact on our city. Coincidentally, the city has really taken off since he left.

TLOZ Link5
October 22nd, 2005, 12:06 PM
Well said, eldondre.

Fabrizio
October 22nd, 2005, 03:19 PM
I love Philly and feel an attachment to it. I spent part of my childhood in South Jersey ...30 minutes away from Center City.

The city has certainly been transformed in the last decade but I must say I agree with some ( not all) of Azazello´s comments.

I love that the city still has a small town feel. I don´t mind a bit of grittiness. Philly is funky and eccentric. There´s a kind of time-warp 1970´s feel about it. The whole area from Philly over to the Jersey shore still has an unsophisticated working class vibe. It´s funny... no matter how many new skyscrapers and fancy restuarants Philly generates ...it´s still kind of flat footed. Perhaps that´s why I like it.

My biggest problem with Center City? Although it´s considered to be a city for walking, I find long stretches that are barren and kind of erie. Try walking into town from the 30th street station. The boulevard that goes into the Art Museum is also kind of spooky. Penn Center offers no street life. Broad Street has too many indoor parking structures and parking entrances to ever make it unified and interesting. City Hall feels isolated and even the plaza built next to it is ugly and uninviting. The awful indoor mall " The Galleria" on Market ruins a long stretch of that street. The Bourse is another dreary indoor mall. Many of those shiny new skyscrapers offer blank walls and long, long scary stretches of sidewalk. Have you noticed that considering how big Philly is, there´s really very little deluxe shopping in Center City. Most of the big-guns designer boutiques are found at King of Prussia. So Philly doesn´t have a big, grand hustle n´ bustle to it, it´s not sophisticated and slick... it´s really about the small intimate streets and neighborhoods... the working class feel... the breathtakingly beautiful residential streets in Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square, the unconciously genuine Reading Terminal Market and so on.... That´s the Philly I love.

ablarc
October 22nd, 2005, 03:41 PM
^ Perceptive analysis.

*Rita*
October 22nd, 2005, 04:29 PM
Fabrizio when you say shiny new skyscrapers, are you referring to liberty place? If so, liberty place has ground level shopping, so does walnut, chestnut ect
North broad is probably what you are reffering to when you said parking garages,bland ect. I agree, it needs help.
South broad is flaming with development right now.
The stretch between 30th street and center city, is about to be filled with condos.

Fabrizio
October 22nd, 2005, 05:09 PM
Liberty Place is just one example. From a distance the buildings are nice on the skyline ...but we get ANOTHER sealed enclosed mall with no benefit to the street down below ....and this is in a small-business retail area. The surrounding area seems just as run-down and forlorn as always. The blue facade, seen from close-up, clashes horribly with the surroundings. Inside we get largely banal shops and a food court with the usual burritos, subs and steam-table Chinese food. The circular mall itself seems cramped, you´ve got a dirty skylight and dark hallways leading out.

It´s a downer.

Where are the retail shops on the outside of Liberty Place? I guess I missed the them.

Sad to say, but big-time-happening Philly retail moved here ages ago: http://www.kingofprussiamall.com/shopping_info/directory.shtml

(Give the list some time to load and then scroll down. Center City Philly cannot begin to match that...and that´s sad. Philly does not have the retail shopping of other great American cities...and that´s not at all bad if it can keep the small local retailers, antique shops and other curious places....but for big-name shopping Philly is not the city.)

Is S. Broad the stretch near City Hall? From City Hall to the Kimmel it´s marred by parking garages and entrances and walls. C´mon it´s NOT Broadway.

New Condo on 30th mean nothing to me. Will they be benifiting the street? Or set back in their own little worlds?

Azazello
October 23rd, 2005, 04:18 PM
PS-I'd like to thank azazello for leaving as it undoubtedly has had a positive impact on our city. Coincidentally, the city has really taken off since he left.Ha-ha, very funny. I would give you a middle-finger but can't find a smilie to do so.

Urbanophile
October 24th, 2005, 10:50 AM
I've been lurking here for a while and find this topic to be very interesting. I live in Philadelphia and visit NYC often. In many ways I'm an unofficial resident of NYC as well as an official resident of Philadelphia. I other words, I go to NYC, do what there is to do there, and do not have to pay expensive NYC rent :D . Yes, I love New York, but I also love Philly. The two cities are different and what applies to one does not apply to the other. This is especially the case with New York which is twice the size of the nation's second largest city and which is the unchallenged financial and cultural capital of the coutnry. The solutions that apply to NYC will not apply to Philadelphia. Anyway, here are a few points I want to make.

1) Philadelphia does not need to be "saved". Sure the population is still declining and companies have been moving out but NYC suffered a far greater exodus in the 70's. It went from nearly 8 million to just above 7 million and jobs left Manhattan to go to places from Stamford, CT to Houston (in fact, I don't think NYC has or will ever recover the primacy in this country that it had in the 50's and 60's). It suffered though a major financial crisis and was begging the federal governemnt for money. I don't think anyone in 1979, when "The Warriors" made a far darker portrayal of NYC than any Rocky movie did for Philadelphia, would have ever guessed NYC would turn the corner. Even as recently as the late 80's, people were nicknaming NYC the "Rotten Apple". Yet, NYC came out of it with a vengeance. It didn't need to be "saved". While Philadelphia has fewer resources, to imply it can't also make a turnaround without being saved is shortsighted. The Center City rennaissance was not a product of being saved but of an initiative taken by Philadelphia to revitalize the downtown area. So far, it has worked, despite talk about it being a "Potemkin city" (which I will discuss below). It may be a minor miracle compared to the real estate boom in Manhattan, but for a city that's a fraction the size of NYC, it is quite something and far mroe to write home about than what's going on in most American cities. After all, you don't hear much about a downtown rennaissance in so-called "well-off" cities like Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix.

2) "Potemkin city" is inaccurate. You can call Detroit and Cleveland Potemkin cities. However, Center City Philadelphia and its surrounding area have over 80,000 people. That may be peanuts by New York standards but keep this in perspective - that's 1/5 of the population of the entire city of Cleveland and over 1/4 the population of NY's second largest city of Buffalo. Plop Center City Philadelphia into either of these cities, and NO ONE would be calling Cleveland or Buffalo a Potemkin city. Should Philadelphia have a larger more vital downtown area given the city's population? Sure. But I think that can be said for almost every city in the US, including Chicago which has the second most populous downtown area. To lump Philadelphia into the realm of Cleveland and Detroit, where downtown areas are being propped up by stadiums and (in the case of Detroit) casinos, is unfair.

3) I agree with the post on racial division and the need to attract more international immigrants. I think the two go hand in hand. Often, though, attracting immigrants is easier said than done. Places don't develop into immigration hubs just because the city puts out a huge welcome mat and presents alot of jobs. If that were the case, the Arabs would not be going to the Detroit area. Similarly, Philadelphia has one of the largest SE Asian communities in the country despite not being a booming economy and not actively going out there advertising for immigrants. Immigrants go to where there is already a community for them. They then build upon that community and create their own opportuntiies. This is a game where the rich get richer. Philadelphia is not a major immigration hub the way NYC, Chicago, Houston, LA, and SF are. The seed communities for immigrants are far smaller as a consequence. So, as I said above, the same rules do not apply. The pace of attracting immigrants is increasing, however, and alot of that is because immigrants are being priced out of NYC and moving here. Witness the growth of the Asian population in NE Philly - many of them being formerly from NYC. Also, witness the grwoth of the Mexican population in South Philly - also many from NYC.

4) Yes, it is true that Broad Street is not Broadway. But North Michigan Ave. is Chicago is not Fifth Ave. either and Union Squre in San Francisco is not Times Square and Fanueil Hall is not the South Street Seaport. You can't expect a city that's a fraction the size of NYC to have what NYC has. Also, Philadelphia doesn't have anywhere near as much tourist trade.

5) Philadelphia is not smaller than Boston and Washington. I just had to point that out. Some posts above have impleid that it is. Philadelphia is larger than Boston and Washington combined.

ablarc
October 24th, 2005, 11:17 AM
^ Thoughtful post.

eldondre
October 24th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Fabrizio-Liberty place does have street level access. Chestnut St is being transformed back into a shopping street after the ill-advised experiment of making it into a transitway (closing it to all vehicular traffic other than public transit). I'd agree with you on the walk from 30th although that too ahs improved. Much of that area is changing rapidly (by our standards anyways) as condos are built along the banks of the schuykill. Oddly, no matter how hard our politicos try to make market st our fifth avenue....we don;t change our habits. most people shop in other areas despite where they are "supposed" to shop. that area died when Wanamaker's died (think our version of the NY Macy's). We also suffer from close proximity to the country's third largest mall. However we are getting some attention finally. Are we Broadway or fifth Ave? No. Does it matter? no. Is barcelona paris? no. but it's still a pretty nice place to live.

unchallenged financial and cultural capital of the coutnry picking fights with LA are you? i'd agree with financial but cultural? probably not (although it is one of them). you guys wear too much black. ; )
that said, I love your city too and don't begrudge you anything in terms of status. Sadly, the Blind Tiger is closing and that was my biggest reason to visit.

Fabrizio
October 24th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Elronde:

Rita says:"...liberty place has ground level shopping"

You say: "Liberty place does have street level access"

Well it might have "ground level shopping" with "street level access" but my impression is that it´s an enclosed shopping mall.

What are the "Shops at Liberty Place" that face out on to the sidewalk? I´m curious to know.

My point about Broad not Being Broadway is in response to Rita. My original comment was: "Broad Street has too many indoor parking structures and parking entrances to ever make it unified and interesting."

To that Rita responded: "South broad is flaming with development right now."

To that I said: "S. Broad the stretch near City Hall? From City Hall to the Kimmel it´s marred by parking garages and entrances and walls."

And I stand by that statement. It´s a lousy walk. When I say that it´s not Broadway ...I mean the street is not a great urban avenue... it´s not a fun place to stroll.

About Market street you say: "that area died when Wanamaker's died". I can´t exactly remember where Wanamakers was located but the area around 8th(?) and Market was killed by that hideous ghetto-gear mall "The Gallery" that completely turns it´s back to the street. And on the other side of the street is strip-mall architecture, pawn shops and check-cashing joints. It´s a no-mans land right in the center of town. Philly is never going to get anywhere until it stops with these enclosed "urban " shopping malls and parking garages and skyskrapers with blank walls and so forth. That´s not how you build an environment for a world-class city.

*Rita*
October 24th, 2005, 05:42 PM
An enclosed shopping mall. What mall is outdoors?

stache
October 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Good point, Rita. Maybe they do it differently in Tuscany? Here in America, the urban vertical shopping malls tend to have limited street access. It cuts down on shoplifting flight.

Urbanophile
October 24th, 2005, 06:11 PM
Elronde:

Rita says:"...liberty place has ground level shopping"

You say: "Liberty place does have street level access"

Well it might have "ground level shopping" with "street level access" but my impression is that it´s an enclosed shopping mall.

What are the "Shops at Liberty Place" that face out on to the sidewalk? I´m curious to know.

I can't remember off the top of my head but the whole street front of the Liberty Place along Chestnut is lined by stores. One of them is J Crew. Diagonal from the Liberty Place is an H&M which is going to double in size. That area is hardly dead.


My point about Broad not Being Broadway is in response to Rita. My original comment was: "Broad Street has too many indoor parking structures and parking entrances to ever make it unified and interesting."

Agreed, but there's only one that isn't hidden (which I agree is an eyesore). The only other three I can think of between City Hall and the Kimmel is the one at the Bellevue (which has a cafe at street level), the one at the Doubletree (which has the hotel lobby at street level), and the one at Broad and Spruce (which has the Wilma theater at street level). Plus, you need garages to help bring in people to go to the theaters. No garages - no theaters. It would be preferable to not have any above-ground garages, of course (and it would be more preferably if people took the subway or train), but it is not as if the garages are *that* intrusive. Its alot better than LA where the new Disney Concert Hall is not surrounded by anything and people just drive in and drive out.


About Market street you say: "that area died when Wanamaker's died". I can´t exactly remember where Wanamakers was located but the area around 8th(?) and Market was killed by that hideous ghetto-gear mall "The Gallery" that completely turns it´s back to the street. And on the other side of the street is strip-mall architecture, pawn shops and check-cashing joints. It´s a no-mans land right in the center of town. Philly is never going to get anywhere until it stops with these enclosed "urban " shopping malls and parking garages and skyskrapers with blank walls and so forth. That´s not how you build an environment for a world-class city.

It isn't as if the city is continuing to build enclosed urban shopping malls. The Gallery was completed in 1984 and is the only large enclosed mall in Center City. Also, as hideous as it is, the Gallery is packed to the gills so it is not as if it is a failure. Keep in mind that it was built in the 70's and early 80's and back then these large enclosed malls in the city were seen as progressive.
I agree that Market Street sucks though. However, most people who live in Center City don't go to Market to shop, they go to Walnut and Chestnut Streets which are walkable and have storefronts. West Elm, Barney's Co-op, Bo Concepts, a new H&M, Sephora, American Apparel, etc. are coming to Walnut/Chestnut and that's on top of Zara, Kiehl's, Williams Sonoma, Kenneth Cole, Anthropologie, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany's, Cole Haan, Design Within Reach, etc. so this is hardly a stagnant corridor - not by a long shot. Its not Manhattan but few places are. I think Walnut and Chestnut are fine. We don't need a Fifth Avenue or a Madison Avenue in Philadelphia. Besides, how many people crowding Fifth Ave. are really New Yorkers? If Philadelphia had that type of tourist trade and brought in as many European and Asian tourists, then it would be a different story. As it stands, I find enough on Walnut and Chestnut to suit my needs - and that is without having to go to the Gallery or even to King of Prussia Mall.

Fabrizio
October 24th, 2005, 06:18 PM
(oh boy...)

Yeah ok ... Liberty Place is fab and truly contributes to street life... The Gallery, right on Market, is my FIRST stop for t-shirts, track suits and sneakers.... I LOVE the fact that it turns it´s back on Market... THAT´S what a city needs... more enclosed malls...hey it´s great for cutting down on shoplifting! Parking garages.... that´s what we need... more parking garages....


(Perhaps it´s better that the Philadelphians talk among themselves.)

ablarc
October 24th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Actually, Philadelphia does parking garages better than most places do them; most are masked at sidewalk level by retail or something else acceptable to the pedestrian.

You should see them in a Southern city.

Urbanophile
October 24th, 2005, 06:36 PM
(oh boy...)

Yeah ok ... Liberty Place is fab and truly contributes to street life... The Gallery, right on Market, is my FIRST stop for t-shirts, track suits and sneakers.... I LOVE the fact that it turns it´s back on Market... THAT´S what a city needs... more enclosed malls...hey it´s great for cutting down on shoplifting! Parking garages.... that´s what we need... more parking garages....


(Perhaps it´s better that the Philadelphians talk among themselves.)

The Gallery does suck but I wouldn't lump Liberty Place in the same group. First of all, that mall is not big. Secondly, it does indeed have stores all along the Chestnut Street front. It doesn't turn a blank wall.

As for parking garages, well this is the US. As I'm sure you well know (since you spetn part of your childhood in South Jersey) most people are car dependent. NYC may be one of the few places that you can really survive without a car. I survive without a car too in Center City Philadelphia. But most people live in the suburbs and many of the people who will patronize these theaters are from the suburbs. This is not a city of 8.1 million people with additional thousands of tourists and business travellers staying (car-less) in hotels. If you want to attract patrons to the theaters, you have to have garages. Its a necessary evil. Yes, they are ugly and I agree that it would be preferable not to have them. But you have to work with what you have. This is a suburban country, by and large, and people are addicted to cars. The good thing is that the garages in Center City Philadelphia ARE masked by stores and restaurants. Its not so much the case in downtown Atlanta.

*Rita*
October 24th, 2005, 06:39 PM
have you been to Philadelphia PA or Philadelphia MS?
Center city still needs work. But it is hardly made up of empty storefronts and blank walls. Its ok by me.

Fabrizio
October 24th, 2005, 07:16 PM
"I can't remember off the top of my head but the whole street front of the Liberty Place along Chestnut is lined by stores. One of them is J Crew. "

I would really love to have some concrete verification on this. At the "Shops at Liberty Place" web site... J.Crew is given the enclosed mall (not Chestnut Street) address. And that´s how I remember the whole dreary complex....turning it´s back to the street. I´m curious to know about Liberty Place´s wall of street fronts. Their web site lists none. And I remember none. I hope you prove me wrong.

Remember my original comment was about street environment... and in my opinion, enclosed mall developements like Liberty Place especially in a small area as Center City Philadelphia are a grave mistake.


About parking garages:

Ok, perhaps it´s a nessesary evil, but on a street like Broad they are lethal to street life. IMHO. Imagine B´way with parking entrances interupting the scene.


You go on to say: "The Gallery is packed to the gills so it is not as if it is a failure." Nowhere do I call the Gallery a failure.

The Gallery might be an enourmous success... but it´s made that stretch of street a failure. Get the difference?

Also: "West Elm, Barney's Co-op, Bo Concepts, a new H&M, Sephora, American Apparel, etc. are coming to Walnut/Chestnut"

Great. But my comments are about the Philly I saw a few months ago... not what´s on the drawing boards.

" this is hardly a stagnant corridor - not by a long shot."

I agree it´s very very nice, very busy and I enjoy walking there....but with exeptions, nearly all of those names you mention are the series B and C of retailing. Philly needs a Saks.. a Nordstroms...a Nieman Marcus. It needs boutiques with cool interior architecture and beautiful windows... more of the cool luxury international names. Speaking of windows: Lord&Taylor and what´s the other one? Strawbridges? Always have the worst dull window displays... as if no one really cares. And they have interiors that really need updating.

"If Philadelphia had that type of tourist trade and brought in as many European and Asian tourists, then it would be a different story."

I´ll bet Philly brings in a lot of international tourists but if you come in on a tour bus and your first impression is the bleak landscape of Market Street... would you really want to hang around to see more?

Urbanophile
October 24th, 2005, 08:16 PM
"I can't remember off the top of my head but the whole street front of the Liberty Place along Chestnut is lined by stores. One of them is J Crew. "

I would really love to have some concrete verification on this. At the "Shops at Liberty Place" web site... J.Crew is given the enclosed mall (not Chestnut Street) address. And that´s how I remember the whole dreary complex....turning it´s back to the street. I´m curious to know about Liberty Place´s wall of street fronts. Their web site lists none. And I remember none. I hope you prove me wrong.

J. Crew is definitely on Chestnut, as is Andrew's Ties. The site does not distinguish between whether the stores are in the enclosed portion or on Chestnut. In the case of J. Crew, the store opens both into the enclosed portion and onto the street. There used to also be a Rand McNally store on Chestnut that did not open onto the enclosed mall at all - in other words, the only way to access it was from the street. Perhaps Eldondre or Rita can back me up but I guarantee you that the Chestnut Street frontage does have stores that open onto the street.


Remember my original comment was about street environment... and in my opinion, enclosed mall developements like Liberty Place especially in a small area as Center City Philadelphia are a grave mistake.

I'm not disagreeing with you. However, the Liberty Place doesn't turn its back on the street. Head a few hours west to Pittsburgh and you'll have a place with a much smaller downtown that has several enclosed malls that don't have street frontage. Also, in downtown Seattle (often hailed as an enlightened downtown environment) you also have several indoor malls. While those malls do have street frontage, they're not that much different from the Liberty Place.



About parking garages:

Ok, perhaps it´s a nessesary evil, but on a street like Broad they are lethal to street life. IMHO. Imagine B´way with parking entrances interupting the scene.

I agree. I would rather do away with them. But they are there and they aren't really that horribly obtrusive. Broad was never a great walking street to begin with. Center City Philadelphia is more E-W and most of the foot traffic is E-W and flows on Walnut, Chestnut, Spruce, etc.



You go on to say: "The Gallery is packed to the gills so it is not as if it is a failure." Nowhere do I call the Gallery a failure.

The Gallery might be an enourmous success... but it´s made that stretch of street a failure. Get the difference?

Yes. But that area wasn't all that great before the Gallery and probably wouldn't be great had the Gallery not been built. One thing you'll notice about Philadelphia is that bigger streets don't do too well here. Unlike NY where there are enough pedestrians to make the big streets still seem intimate, streets like Market and Broad are alienating. Pedestrians prefer the smaller streets like Walnut and Chestnut. I don't think the Gallery is what is killing Market Street. Market Street is killing Market Street. If it were a small 2-lane one-way street like Walnut or even Arch, it would be much more successful.


[re Chestnut/Walnut corridor] I agree it´s very very nice, very busy and I enjoy walking there....but with exeptions, nearly all of those names you mention are the series B and C of retailing. Philly needs a Saks.. a Nordstroms...a Nieman Marcus.

Every city has its limits. As long as there is enough to suit the needs of the people who live in the city, I can't see why there's a failure. As far as that is concerned, I think we can do with one more department store in Center City - preferably upscale like a Saks or a Nordstrom. However, after that, the market in Center City will have been satiated. Boston and San Francisco are probably the only examples of smaller major cities that have a relatively large mix of upscale department stores in their downtown areas. However, they are also two of the most expensive cities in the country with alot of wealthy people and also smaller cities geographically where people from the suburbs have easier access to the downtown. Also, in the case of Boston, those department stores are attached to the types of enclosed malls which you eschew (and they probably wouldn't exist there in stand alone form - I'm not sayign they wouldn't survive there in that form but the owners probably insisted that they be attached to a mall). You won't find Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus or Saks in downtown Washington, Atlanta, Miami, or Houston.

I would love to see Philadelphia lure Saks away from the suburbs and bring it into Center City. In fact, rumor had it that Saks was thinking about opening a store in the city (on Walnut) but the national economc downturn of a few years ago scrapped those plans. It could happen again and, if it does, the market will be satiated.

ablarc
October 24th, 2005, 10:32 PM
You guys should keep on arguing because it's interesting, but you should be aware: you're both right.

Not sure you really disagree about much of anything.

But don't let that stop you.

T.O. II
October 25th, 2005, 01:52 AM
J. Crew is definitely on Chestnut, as is Andrew's Ties. The site does not distinguish between whether the stores are in the enclosed portion or on Chestnut. In the case of J. Crew, the store opens both into the enclosed portion and onto the street. There used to also be a Rand McNally store on Chestnut that did not open onto the enclosed mall at all - in other words, the only way to access it was from the street. Perhaps Eldondre or Rita can back me up but I guarantee you that the Chestnut Street frontage does have stores that open onto the street.



I'm not disagreeing with you. However, the Liberty Place doesn't turn its back on the street. Head a few hours west to Pittsburgh and you'll have a place with a much smaller downtown that has several enclosed malls that don't have street frontage. Also, in downtown Seattle (often hailed as an enlightened downtown environment) you also have several indoor malls. While those malls do have street frontage, they're not that much different from the Liberty Place.

This is from a9.com which is a site that amazon made. They went around and took pictures of commercial corridors in major city. And yes Azazello Philly is a Real City regardless of whether or not you want to acknowledge this fact. Anyway, Yes the J. Crew and I believe all of the shops at Liberty Place open up onto Chestnut St.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/yp/B00034D6D6/102-6010408-3377717?v=ypglance&n=3999141

And Azazello I would love to meet up with you for a few hours and possibly show you some of the things that have taken place in Philly since 98'. I work as a realtor in U City and I smiled when I heard your praise of Cedar Park. My brother lived on the 4700 block of Hazel about ten years ago, and it was a tough area. But U City looks so much better now then ten years ago. It is so much cleaner, brighter, and at least feels a lot safer. U of Penn and the University City District are very responsible, but also the resurgence of Center City has had an effect. And other neighborhood groups have done alot. http://www.sprucehillca.org/ http://www.cedarparkneighbors.org/ And this brings me to the next point.

How can you say there is no cohesive community of residents in U City? I agree within a couple of blocks of Penn and Drexel is transient. But the rest of U.C. has a very tight neighborhood organization. I guess you do not know of the Penn Alexander school. http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v49/n08/sadie_school.html I have many young families that are looking just for properties in this area because they want their kids to go to school there. My bosses the O'Donnell's are a 5th generation family in this area. Go to the University Swim Club any day of the week and tell those people there is no cohesive community, or to any of the 50 fesitivals in Clark Park and tell those guys. Property values in this area are about 5 times what they were 8 - 10 years ago. I don't think gentrification is entirely a good thing, but you can't deny it's existence in U City.

Man you gotta see what has happened here since you left. I can't believe you did not notice if you are back as often as you say. I realize that Ed Rendell let a lot of neighborhoods slide as he concentrated on Center City. In his defense he had to. But all the areas surrounding Center City - Fairmount/Art Museum -- Northern Liberties -- Bella Vista/ Queen Village -- SoSo/ Graduate Hospital -- and University City have all prospered due to their proximity to Center City. John Street has sorta of flipped that around. Though I am not a big fan of his Neighborhood Transportation Initiative - which is razing thousand of houses.

I tried to find an article the City Paper did on David Lynch a few years ago. I think it did mentioned where he lived. For some reason I thought it was more NoLibs. But possibly the morgue was at the City Hospital which is/ was on 38th St. on the other side of the H.U.P./ Childrens's Hospital site.

I do appreciate your suggestions though I gotta tell you Philly is and most likely will always be one of the greatest cultural centers in this country. We are cool. We aren't looking for your approval or anyone else - that is why we are cool. If you are trying to be cool - your'e not.

And as much as there was a lot of comments as to what a dump North Philly and West Philly are. These comments were obvously made by people who have not spent a lot of time in West Philly. About 1/3 of West Philly is U City. Almost the other 1/3 is Overbrook/ Wynnefield. These are beautiful strong neighborhoods. You would have to be blind to miss that.

As for North Philly, especially the areas you see on the train ride to/ from New York, well yeah it is pretty bombed out. Temple is making a difference. The funny thing is much of North Philly was 50 - 70 years ago was the nicest area in Philly. And beyond that much of Philly was much nicer than most of New York. 80 - 100 years ago the average Philly blue collar worker was living in a new three/ four bedroom rowhouse while his compatriot in New York was still living in a squalid tenement. And there is still some beautiful buildings in North Philly, but much of it is beyond repair. But if you want to see some really amazing graffitti or go to a warehouse party that goes til dawn - North Philly can be a lot of fun. And as much as it looks horrible you can walk around any of these neighborhoods anytime of day and most of the time at night and no one will bother you.

If Philly could correct a the few major problems in the city. I will address these later. Getting people to move to these areas would not be a problem. There are farms that are getting turned into sub divisions in the outer rings of Philly's suburbs everyday. Eventually those outer suburbs will meet the outer suburbs from Baltimore and New York. All this while tons of vacant land sit unused in North Philly.

Okay -- What is wrong with Philly. Schools, Taxes, Crime.

What can we do about these. Of course I do not have all the awnsers. But here are a few simple suggestions.

Schools. -- I already mentioned the U of Penn Sadie Alexander school. It is fully operational as of this year K-8. There are lots of things we can take from this school and use at other schools. My sister teaches elementary school in Philly. Money and increased family involvement would help a lot. For the kids in high school who are not going on to college - creating vocational schools, many of which have been shut down, would give a lot of kids something to live for to try for. A perfect example is this http://www.bestrateofclimb.com/westphilly-article.htm A bunch of kids from West Philly built a car that won the Tour del Sol. These kids have something to contribute and if you give them a chance to do more than sell crack, work at MickeyD's and go to jail and they will surprise us. With all the vacant houses that sit in areas like North Philly there is plenty of work for carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, ect. They could give these guys the skills, the tools, the materials, and the vacant houses and send them to work. If you gave them a house when you are done, look what you would have someone with a skill, a job, and a whole new neighborhood. Makes sense to me.

Taxes. Taxes choke businesses in this city. The wage tax is a killer. Unfortunately Philly politicians kinda suck. Oh well politicians everywhere suck. I don't know enough about this subject to offer any good solutions.

Crime. Almost all crime is related to poverty/ drugs. And when I say drugs I am not talking about Pot. Pot makes you lazy and dumb. Crack and Heroin kill families and communities. You have to treat this as a long term addiction. There are programs and solutions to deal with this, but they are not being put in place on a large scale. There was just a guy who ran for DA in Philly and lost. I really think he would have made a difference. He had a lot of good practical ideas. He worked in the DA's office for years.

Anyway if we could fix/ alleviate some of these problems- there would be no holding Philly back. I am stealing this from something I read on Phillyblog today which lead me to this site. Philly is 'A city that has great history, architecture, colleges, restaurants, shopping, etc. and is one of the most inexpensive major cities in the Northeast.' And to endorse what someone else said earlier -- I live an hour and a half from the shore, about two hours from the poconos, about two hours from New York, and two hours from Baltimore and three from DC. One of my old roommates was born in Queens, grew up in the Bronx and Manhattan, and lived in Garden City for awhile. He liked Philly because anything he wanted and could get in New York he could get in Philly, and Philly was on a much more manageable scale. Not to mention cheaper. Anyway I got to go it is late

I am sorry for the length of this post. I did not mean to make it this long, but obviously I have a tendency to ramble. But thank you for all the nice things that have been said about the city I love.

Also for anyone who is from out of town and does not know this -- the worst places to get a cheesesteak in Philly are Pat's and Geno's. Any pizza place should be able to give you something a lot better than those morons.

Please come explore Philly. While it is not New York there are many great things to see and to here. If you need any suggestions feel free to get in touch with me. You can contact me thru Phillyblog which (unfortunately) I am addicted to.

Urbanophile
October 25th, 2005, 08:14 AM
Also click on

http://www.amazon.com/gp/yp/B000344ZFE/103-0467564-9076602?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=3999141&qid=1130242313

and take a stroll down Walnut Street.

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2005, 02:17 PM
picking fights with LA are you? i'd agree with financial but cultural? probably not (although it is one of them). you guys wear too much black. ; )

Blasphemy! :D


that said, I love your city too and don't begrudge you anything in terms of status. Sadly, the Blind Tiger is closing and that was my biggest reason to visit.

Are you sure? There's nothing on the Website that says anything about it closing.

http://blindtigeralehouse.com/page/o9a7/Home_Page.html

stache
October 26th, 2005, 12:54 AM
(Perhaps it´s better that the Philadelphians talk among themselves.)

Thanks but I'm a New Yorker. Perhaps it would be better if you were not quite so much the cynic? The stores at Liberty do not open right on to the street. However, all of the stores there have floor to ceiling glass walls so you can see inside.

Swinefeld
October 26th, 2005, 08:57 AM
The guy who started this thread was known as bensalemballard on PhillyBlog. And he was BANNED! Don't put ANY stock into anything he has to say. He is a troll and Wired New York probably will be banning him soon too.

Have a nice day.

T.O. II
October 26th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Thanks but I'm a New Yorker. Perhaps it would be better if you were not quite so much the cynic? The stores at Liberty do not open right on to the street. However, all of the stores there have floor to ceiling glass walls so you can see inside.

The ones that line the street do open on to the street. At least J. Crew and Jos. A Bank do. I will try to stop by tonight and check it out the others to be sure.

TLOZ Link5
October 26th, 2005, 05:04 PM
There's a Jos. A Bank in Philly? Nice. I love their cashmere winter coats; very high quality. I have one :D

Urbanophile
October 26th, 2005, 06:20 PM
There's a Jos. A Bank in Philly? Nice. I love their cashmere winter coats; very high quality. I have one :D

They're nationwide.

T.O. II
October 26th, 2005, 06:26 PM
There's a Jos. A Bank in Philly? Nice. I love their cashmere winter coats; very high quality. I have one :D

Yeah. There is one in the shops at Liberty Place on the 17th St side. There is also one on the Main Line in Haverford, and one in Marlton which is about 15 min over the bridge in Jersey.

Fabrizio
October 26th, 2005, 06:34 PM
Could someone clear this up for me about Liberty Place because we do have conflicting info here: Jos A Bank lists it´s address as "1650 Market Street" ....that is the address of one of the the general entrances to Libery Place. Why is no individual street-front "Jos a. Bank" address given? I think it´s odd. Same with J.Crew... the address is listed as 1625 Chestnut....a general entrance to the mall... not an individual store-front address. What´s the story here?

ablarc
October 26th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Subsequently retrofitted with sidewalk entrances?

Urbanophile
October 26th, 2005, 07:36 PM
Could someone clear this up for me about Liberty Place because we do have conflicting info here: Jos A Bank lists it´s address as "1650 Market Street" ....that is the address of one of the the general entrances to Libery Place. Why is no individual street-front "Jos a. Bank" address given? I think it´s odd.

At the risk of going even further off on this tangent regarding what store is on Chestnut and what isn't and what opens onto Chestnut and what doesn't, I want to state that Jos. Banks is not on Chestnut, J. Crew is.

Also, as I've said before, J. Crew does open onto Chestnut, as did the former Rand McNally store (which is now being converted to a restaurant).

You can continue to doubt me about J. Crew but of the two of us only I actually live in the vicinity of the store in question (I live on Rittenhouse Square) and it appears that only I have actually been in that store. Unless they recently closed off the entrance from Chestnut, I maintain that it still opens onto Chestnut. Sure there are stores in the Liberty Place that do not open onto the streets but J. Crew is not one of them and neither was the old Rand McNaly Store (and the replacement may open onto the street) so it is simply not true that no stores open onto the street. Also, there is an Express store on that block. I don't think that one opens onto the street but there are (as one poster mentioned above) floor to ceiling windows which allow for people to see inside. Sure it would be better if it opened onto the street as well but, all the same, it hardly makes for a dreary fortress-like streetscape as you're making things out to be.

Anyway, its too bad that amazon link psoted above has such bad pictures (with the J, Crew store obscured by a UPS truck). Otherwise our debate would be solved right then and there.

Fabrizio, I think you're trying to make a point that you hate enclosed urban shopping centers. Point taken, several times over. I don't like them either. But you've got to pick your targets. You were right to criticize the Gallery but I don't think you're on target with Liberty Place. Heck, if you're going to pick on Liberty Place, then you might as well pick on Trump Tower as well. After all, Trump Tower does not have a single storefront on Fifth Ave. whatsoever! From the outside, other than the "Open to the Public" sign and the streams of Japanese tourists going in, you wouldn't even know that there's a mall in there. And its not like its that great of a mall either. Liberty has more stores, has a greater variety of stores, and serves a larger demographic while, at the same time, not being the "ghetto" mall you're calling the Gallery. Trump? Well if I want to go to an overpriced touristy buffet (and since when do buffets belong on Fifth Ave.???) or shop for a Mont Blanc pen, I don't really see the use. And it STILL doesn't have stores the open onto the street.

How about the Time Warner center? Actually I don't remember whether it has stores on the street or not. However, I do know that, like Liberty, it is an enclosed urban shopping mall and that the majority of the stores are not on the street. Also, their website doesn't show any of the stores as being open to the street.

http://www.shopsatcolumbuscircle.com/scs/user/shopsname.aspx

Yes, I know that doesn't mean that there aren't any open to the street but you seem to be saying that Liberty doesn't have any that open to the street because their website doesn't show any.

By the way, I'm not trying to pick a fight with New York. I love New York, really I do. I also like the Trump Tower for its own quirkiness and I think hte Time Warner Center is great. However, you shouldn't be so quick to signle out and harp on Philly for having urban malls that are dismal, dreary, alienating, etc. I don't recall the Mall of Manhattan being all that great and neither was the mall in the WTC.

Urbanophile
October 26th, 2005, 09:03 PM
Let's settle this debate once and for all.

I took a short detour on my way home and passed by the Liberty Place.

As I've said all along, J. Crew DOES open onto Chestnut Street.

The entire Chestnut Street side of the Liberty Place has store fronts. There are 4 storefronts - Express, J. Crew, Andrew's Ties, and the former Rand McNally store (which is being renovated to a restaurant). Of those 4, ONLY Express does not open onto the street. The rest ALL open onto the street. In fact, Andrew's Ties and the former Rand McNally store open ONLY onto the street. As for Express, while it doesn't open onto the street, the ENTIRE Chestnut Street frontage has big long picture display windows - hardly alienating.

On the 17th St. side, you've got Jos. Banks which ALSO opens onto the street.

Fabrizio, it seems that no matter what the posters above have said, you stick to your guns and insist that no store opens onto the street - all based on your memories of your visit several months back. You say you want concrete proof and somehow the pictures on Amazon are not good enough. You resort to the Liberty Place website and say that no stores open onto the street simply because the website doesn't say that any do and provides only a common address for those stores. However, seeing is believing and unless you're going to hop on a plane and fly over here from Tuscany, you're going to have to take my word for it.

TLOZ Link5
October 26th, 2005, 11:04 PM
They're nationwide.

Ouch. Did not know that.


After all, Trump Tower does not have a single storefront on Fifth Ave. whatsoever!

Well, that's not entirely accurate anymore. The recent remodeling of the Asprey store on the corner of Fifth and 57th added a storefront entrance, so at the very least Asprey is directly open to the street.

stache
October 26th, 2005, 11:09 PM
My mistake. When I go to Liberty I always enter from a main door. I did not notice the individual doors. Sorry.

Fabrizio
October 27th, 2005, 06:25 AM
Urbanfile:

Cool down bud.

Reread my above post. I politely ask: "Could someone clear this up for me about Liberty Place..." and "what´s the story here..."

The conflicting info was from Stache: "The stores at Liberty do not open right on to the street".

And the Amazon photos show what seem to be (and you acknowlege for the Express store) as being false store fronts (rather tacky BTW).

Upon checking street numbers, I found no street-front addresses. Can we agree that´s unusual? So yes, there was confusing info .....and I asked if it could be cleared up.

Something wrong with that?

You also say:

"Fabrizio, it seems that no matter what the posters above have said, you stick to your guns and insist that no store opens onto the street".

Not true. I specifically say in previous posts : "my impression is that it´s an enclosed shopping mall. What are the "Shops at Liberty Place" that face out on to the sidewalk? I´m curious to know."

And

"I would really love to have some concrete verification on this."

and

"I hope you prove me wrong."

Does that sound like someone "sticking to his guns"?

And anyway, another poster here, Stache, had the EXACT SAME impression that I had. Got it?

If you follow the thread, this discussion will make sense. And let me add this ( I´m rushing and must get back to my work.... I hope this all makes sense):

You want to know something? I don´t drive... never have. I walk. So I think I´m pretty sensitive to streets and to my surroundings... and my comments about Philly come from that.

I love Philly. I´m curious to know what´s happening there. If I for some reason had to move back to the states from Europe , it is the city I would choose to live. I still have friends in S. Jersey and I always try to visit Philly when I get back. So I´m really not interested in the cheerleading that seems to be going on here.... I don´t need it. I want to hear what Azzazello has to say. I´m curious to know why Alonzo had a negative impression of the city (first impressions do count). Instead of dumping on him, it would be nice to hear him out.

I´ve been away for a long, long time, I don´t know the city very well now, except for occasionaltrips, but I´m sure I know the city LONGER than any of you here. My first visits to Philly were as a young child in the late 1950´s. I knew Philly when it was THE focal point of American youth culture... when every kid in America ran home from school to watch Bandstand to see what the Philly boys and girls were wearing and the dances they were dancing. I was only a young child but I remember it well. In the very early 1960´s NO city in America impacted youth culture like Philly.... and it sure impacted me. A phenomena like that couldn´t exist today. Before the Beatles, Motown and California.....it was Philly that was churning out teen idols, dances, hairstyles and fashion. It´s all long forgotten now. I remember the big department stores and shopping with my mom...Lit Brothers!....having breakfast of eggs and scapple, the soft prezels with mustard.... and TastyCakes when they were still TastyCakes. I had an eye problem and my doctor was in Philly and so I always looked forward to those appointments! Coming in by train or bus... going through farmland...arriving at Camden... seeing the RCA building with "His Masters Voice"...passing over the bridge... spotting Ben Franklin. I remember visiting the Zoo and the class trips to the Liberty Bell. On Saturday mornings I remember all the GREAT kiddie TV that came out of Philly! They made me who I am for gosh sakes! Gene London ( I appeared on his show) The great boozy Sally Starr. Pete Boyle, Chief Halftown! All the great Philly TV personalities: Mike Douglas, Tom Snyder, Trudi Haynes, John Facenda... people I watched every day (channels 3, 6 and 10). And the fantastic innovative top-40 AM radio: the legendary Hy Lit....Gerry Blavat (the Geater) and Joe Niagra (Rockin´Bird), Jim O´brien.... WIBG (99) and WFIL (Boss radio...Famous 56). We had our transistor radios glued to our ears like the IPods of today... and we listened to Philly.... 24/7. And Atlantic City! It was an extension of Philly... it was where Philly went to in the Summertime... and the boardwalk and Steel Pier, the diving hourse and Ed Hurst and the "Steel Pier Show", the Marine Ballroom!! and taking the bus in with my cousins....and.... listen I can go on and on right through the Rizzo years.....

Believe me...I´ll bet no one on this board can write a better love-letter to Philly than I can.

ablarc
October 27th, 2005, 08:26 PM
...write a better love-letter to Philly...
I think you just did. :)

T.O. II
October 28th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Man! Look at all this New York -- Philly Love. I gotta say I am kinda surprised, of course in a positive way. I figured there would be more NYers dissing Philly and Philly guys firing back. Instead it is people sending props back and forth. I think this is a beautiful thing.

I think we should still hate each other sports teams, or at least have a strong dislike. I personally only hate two professional sports teams - the Cowboys and the Giants. Have you ever seen the commercial on ESPN with a guy and a girl making out on the couch. One is wearing Ohio State sweatshirt and the other Michigan (or some Big 10) school. And then it says -- without sports this wouldn't be disgusting. Cracks me up. I really don't hate the Mets, Knicks, Islanders or Rangers that much more than I dislike anyone else in our division. But since I was a little kid I HATED the Giants. You guys beat us more than we beat you. And you had LT. It really required very little effort to hate that guy, at least if you were a twelve year old Eagles fan. I kinda like him now that he is sacking Randall anymore. Also he was hilarious in the Waterboy.

Sorry getting off the subject. But anyway it is great to see so much love between these two cities. Some people view us as rivals. But I think Philly and New York are too different to be rivals in anything but sports. I think we complement each other well. Everytime I have been to New York I have a Great time. My sister used to live in Midtown, now she lives in Greenwich but still works on Wall Street. So I am up there at least a few times a year. And there is something AWESOME about New York. The is so much energy. So many people. So much to see and do. And that is one of the great things about Philly is the location. I can drive/ take a bus or a train and be there in an hour and a half. Anyway I am starting to ramble. But thanks for all the Luv you sent our way. And thanks for caring. Philly is a great city. It used to be an amazing city - from what I am told. And I think in 10 - 20 years it will be amazing again. New York turned from a decaying sh!thole to one of the greatest cities in the history of the world in less than 30 years so I know Philly can do the same. And for all the New Yorker who are reading this and haven't been to Philly in the past ten years - Please come take a look. Things have changed drastically in the last decade at least in Center City and the adjacent areas. It is filled with incredible restaurants, hotels and shopping. And much of it is a bargain at least compared to New York. Have a Great weekend and Happy Halloween.

Azazello
October 31st, 2005, 05:44 PM
This is from a9.com which is a site that amazon made. They went around and took pictures of commercial corridors in major city. And yes Azazello Philly is a Real City regardless of whether or not you want to acknowledge this fact. Anyway, Yes ...
<snip>T.O. II, I read your whole post, just so you know. I liked it, and agree with almost everything you wrote.

Just to make clear, once again, one point - I moved from Philly in '98 but still go there every month, or max once every 2 months (barring the 2 years I lived overseas, 1999-2001).

You needn't tell me how wonderful are Spruce Hill or Cedar Park. I spent my best times in those areas, thru-out college and later during work. Reread my posts, you'll see I was never complaining about those neighborhoods. I was a member of Cedar Park Neighbors.

You're a real estate agent so you know very well that neighborhoods like Cedar Park do not like being lumped under the U.C. umbrella. So I stand by my statement, U.C. is not a cohesive community - the U.C. of borders Chestnut to Spruce, 38th to 46th St. If the borders have changed, hopefully you can show me. I'm curious to know which agency you're with (although you probably can't divulge that info). I had a very close connection to Urban & Bye when I lived in the area. Can tell you more about that later.


Which leads to my initial reason for this post: I will be in Philly-town on Nov. 12. Let's organize a meet-up and a 3-hour (actually more like 5-6 hour) tour. My agenda is to show some of the areas I LIKE in Philly but are underrated, and will be further marginalized, by this mass development that many of you are stating that is occurring there. The end of the tour finishes with a trip to Ortlieb's.

If you're interested in meeting in Philly, or you want to take the bus there with me and join the tour, let me know. We can do this by PM or by posting this thread, whichever the moderators think is appropriate.

asg
December 13th, 2005, 03:49 PM
November 28, 2005
http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/dot.gif http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/051128philly.jpg
A rendering of Richard Meier & Partners' 608-foot Mandeville Place, one of about 30 new high-rise projects in the city.
Image courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Until the 1987 opening of Murphy/Jahn’s 945-foot One Liberty Place, Philadelphians passionately defended an unwritten agreement limiting city building heights to below the hat topping the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. By 1991, four years after One Liberty Place opened, seven other office towers transgressed the agreement, with fairly pedestrian designs, even for conservative Philadelphia. In the 15 years since, not one new building has risen above William Penn. This situation is now ending. Big time.
Ten new towers—mostly high-end offices and luxury condos—are now under construction. Most not only push this primarily low-lying city skyward, but reimagine its predominately aristocratic architecture and brick structural aesthetic with transparent and dynamic forms. Cesar Pelli, FAIA’s nearly completed, 435-foot Cira Centre, a 28-story, blue-glass-prism office building near 30th Street train station, already alters the city’s skyline and mirrors the cloudscape. Once it is completed in 2007, Robert Stern, FAIA’s 57-story, 975-foot, crystal-like obelisk, the Comcast Center, will be the tallest building between New York and Chicago. (Stern is also designing a high-rise condo on Center City’s Rittenhouse Square.) Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s 43-story, tubelike glass condo complex, The Murano, will be one of the area’s tallest-ever residences, and Wallace Roberts & Todd’s five-tower Waterfront Square complex will be the first of many residential projects slated for the city’s once-all-industrial Delaware River waterfront.
Twenty other towers are planned, including Handel Architect’s 485-foot, 44-story condo building dubbed the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, and Richard Meier, FAIA’s 41-story, 608-foot Mandeville Place, a lithe, glass condo tower that will rise along the recently completed Schuylkill River Pathway.
Driving this downtown makeover, explains AIA Philadelphia Executive Director John Claypool, are two key forces: companies wanting iconic headquarters, and residents wanting previously unavailable high-end housing options. While low interest rates (which are now rising) and a local real estate tax abatement have encouraged development, the condo market is mainly thriving because of increased migration into Center City from the local suburbs, and even from New York (1.5 hours away by train). Recently, 1,350 apartment and condo units opened citywide; 3,574 will open by 2008. Another 7,205 are proposed for completion by 2010.
City leaders hope that such accommodations will lure new businesses and residents to a city that has seen its population steadily decline since the 1950s.
There are no sure things, especially here, but if the current trends continue, Philadelphia—positioned between New York and Washington, and more affordable than both—could emerge as America’s next boom town.



City leaders are counting on an abundance of new high-end residential accomodations to attract business investment to center city? Seems short-sighted. What about schools?

jakcosnville
December 13th, 2005, 10:50 PM
Philly is thriving with the recent build up in Center City

And it is not going unnoticed, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/features/philly0510/philly.html

Its projected as the next great city.....

Cromwell
December 14th, 2005, 01:31 PM
http://archrecord.construction.com/news/images/dot.gif

City leaders are counting on an abundance of new high-end residential accomodations to attract business investment to center city? Seems short-sighted. What about schools?

Actually the state of Pa. took over the Philadelphia public school system back in 2003. There has been some improvement and there is a multi billion dollar plan to build newer schools and limiting the enrollment to half of todays current student population. Basically twice as many schools to try and limit overcrowding. It's going to take time but they are making an effort to improve the school system.

asg
December 16th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Its projected as the next great city.....
Wow.

TLOZ Link5
December 27th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Yikes...and all this time I thought that murders were down. Sad.

http://kyw.com/topstories/local_story_353171649.html

Philadelphia Murder Rate At A Seven-Year High

Anne-Marie Green
Reporting

Dec 19, 2005 5:15 pm US/Eastern

(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA 371 men, women and children have been murdered in Philadelphia this year and there is still a week-and-a-half to go in 2005.

It is the highest homicide total in the city in at least seven years.

After a few weeks with no murders, it seemed like things were slowing down until this past weekend when three men were shot and killed in the span of a few hours.

“It happened so suddenly, he had just left the house and he was gone,” said Tracy Jones who lost her son to murder over the weekend.

Jones spent Saturday Christmas shopping with her son Derrick but now she will spend the season mourning his death. Derrick was gunned down late Saturday night at 53rd and Columbia.

“Back in the day, when you got into a fight, you would fist fight and either you won or I won and it was over,” said Tracy, adding, “Now they are just pulling out guns and killing each other.”

The number of murders is up 35 this year from last and the police have begun a campaign targeting the hot spots throughout the city and sweeping them for troublemakers.

“We have 804 people in Philadelphia with outstanding warrants for homicide, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery,” explained Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson. “There is another 466 who have been arrested and have failed to appear in court and we are coming after them.”

However, Johnson says the problem is bigger than law and order.

“If you have a school system where 50-percent of the kids that come to the 9th grade and do not graduate the 12th grade, you have a large unemployment rate, you have poverty in certain places, these problems contribute to crime,” added Johnson.

The Commissioner is praising groups like the Guardian Angels who have just returned to the city after a two year absence.

“Older people are getting scared to live here, people are scared to move to Philadelphia, and it has to start here and spread,” said Lamar Burmo of the Guardian Angels.

The Guardian Angels were planning a January return to the area but with the recent rash of crime, they have moved up their date to December.

(© MMV, CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

lofter1
February 28th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Meier-mania Hits Philadelphia, Hard (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/02/28/meiermania_hits_philadelphia_hard.php)

Curbed
http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/02/28/meiermania_hits_philadelphia_hard.php

Think Richard Meier's West Village glass towers (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2005/04/11/meier_covers_his_ass_at_165_charles.php) are hampered by a lack of context, which kinda-sorta makes them awkwardly jut out into the sky? Well, why not have a look at what the old boy is up to in Philly? Prices starting at $3 million in this 43-story skyscraper.

Feel the love, Philadelphia!

· Mandeville Place (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/) [mandevilleplace.com]

renderings: http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images.html

http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo1.jpg (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo1_lg.jpg)

http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo2.jpg (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo2_lg.jpg)

http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo3.jpg (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo3_lg.jpg)

http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo09.jpg (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo09_lg.jpg)

http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo11.jpg (http://www.mandevilleplace.com/images/photo11_lg.jpg)

Cromwell
March 2nd, 2006, 11:14 AM
Can Mandeville get off the ground in the ever saturating Center City Condo market? 10 competing towers have the jump on them as they are already beginning to be built. Along with the conversions of old office space/ industrial buildings into condos, there are about 7,000 condo units being built in Center City right now(approx.4 sq.mle area)



Under Construction

Residence at Ritz carlton-44 stories
Murano- 42 stories
10 Rittenhouse-33 stories
Symphony House-31 stories
Marina View-30 stories
Waterfront Square(5 towers)-37-33-29-25-21 stories.

ablarc
April 29th, 2006, 10:04 AM
That Meier building is nothing short of gorgeous, but how well does it meet the ground?

Is it a go?

stache
July 26th, 2006, 06:54 PM
I'm wondering if elevated murder levels (especially in D.C.) are related to Katrina migration.

ablarc
July 26th, 2006, 08:55 PM
^ The murderers left New Orleans?

TimmyG
July 26th, 2006, 09:21 PM
I'm wondering if elevated murder levels (especially in D.C.) are related to Katrina migration.
I remember hearing that Houston was complaining of increased crime caused by the refugees, but I haven't heard of other cities having that problem.

OmegaNYC
July 27th, 2006, 12:46 AM
I got family who lives in Maryland, not too far from DC, maybe 20 some miles. I'm not shocked at all about DC, it's a nice city, but can be TOUGH as nails in some areas. Especially, some parts of the Southeast quad. Other than that, DC is cool. :)

krulltime
July 27th, 2006, 06:01 PM
That Meier building is nothing short of gorgeous, but how well does it meet the ground?

Is it a go?

There is nothing special about the street where this tower will hit the ground really. That street has to be one of the most deserted streets in center city Philadelphia. So it wouldn't make a difference if the ground floor of this tower will alter the street level. I will think that it will be more of an entrance to a parking garage in the building or next to the building and no stores on the ground floor. That's my take on it.

I used to live in Center City for 4 years. I used to ride my bicycle on this street. It was the best. No car traffic at all.

I do hope they built this beautiful tower though.

pianoman11686
July 27th, 2006, 09:50 PM
The current lack of street life is not an excuse to perpetuate it; in fact, it's all the more reason to bring in new activity. Philadelphia's inner city is on the rise, like so many American downtowns that have been deserted and in decay for decades. That's why we're seeing these kinds of projects in places we'd never expect only 5, maybe 10 years ago.

The structure will be graceful, and attractive. The building will be incomplete unless ground-floor tenants - an upscale restaurant, an art gallery, maybe a clothing boutique - fill the void at the street. I'd be very disappointed if all we ended up with was a private lobby and a parking garage entrance.

ablarc
July 28th, 2006, 01:40 AM
The current lack of street life is not an excuse to perpetuate it; in fact, it's all the more reason to bring in new activity.
Right on , pianoman. Heck, you knew this, krulltime...right?

krulltime
July 28th, 2006, 07:41 AM
^ I mean I totally agree that we need retail and especially a restaurant on ground level. But believe me that the street will never attract the foot traffic just because they built this one tower. So I think developeres might do a foot traffic count and might not include retail. I hope I am wrong though. But I tell you that not even a bank will open at that location.

Just maybe they built more new buildings along this stretch of the street and might make it lively one day. But it is not one of those streets that makes center city special with foot traffic. So it won't attract most people to this end of the city.

I am thinking of what happened to the Trump development on the west side. Even though there are tons of people walking on broadway, people seem less interested in walking on freedom place (a street between 66th street and 70th street - that might be the biggest problem, the street is too short to want to walk on it). They try really hard to put retail on freedom place, but nothing but a trump store and a wine store are there. Now dentists and doctor offices are taking space. Which it is not the retail that you would have expected. Hey maybe Mandeville developers should think about doctors and dentists.

ablarc
July 28th, 2006, 08:18 AM
...nothing but a trump store and a wine store are there.
A trump store? Wow!...what's a trump store? Do they sell Trump dolls?

As for Freedom Place: would cinemas and fancy little secluded upmarket restaurants work there? Dean and DeLuca?

krulltime
July 28th, 2006, 09:01 AM
^ Not even a store like that. LOL!

I mean a place call the Trump Market. They sell things you find in a grocery store. But it totally sucks. They seem to be out of things you need the most.

lofter1
July 28th, 2006, 10:04 AM
As for Freedom Place


This street was for years the service street for the block of Lincoln Towers west of West End Ave ... a brick wall all along the east side of the block acting as a retaing wall for the lawn / trees up above -- no pedestrian access -- with entries to the below-grade garage so it has absolutely no connection to the buildings on that side of the street. It overlooked the wasteland that the railyards along the river had become. Dead.

I worked for many years at the end of this block and before the Trump development went up Freedom Place was basically a loop-around for taxis and nothing else. For the new buildings there the east side of Freedom Place creates an incredibly unwelcoming view.

pianoman11686
July 28th, 2006, 10:55 AM
I guess it wasn't a good analogy, then.

investordude
July 28th, 2006, 09:56 PM
Compared to any place outside the north east, Philly Center City is a pretty great downtown. What's missing in Philly is revitalizing the outer nabes. I think it will happen, especially as the Philly area starts rapidly running out of suburban space.

ablarc
July 28th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Compared to any place outside the north east, Philly Center City is a pretty great downtown. What's missing in Philly is revitalizing the outer nabes. I think it will happen, especially as the Philly area starts rapidly running out of suburban space.
If there's anything left by then. Abandonment and arson.

stache
July 29th, 2006, 08:45 PM
I keep hearing that the city taxes in Philly are so high that it drives people out to the burbs.

pluto
August 18th, 2006, 09:48 PM
This place needs saving? -- http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=88731

Azazello
September 13th, 2006, 05:50 PM
This place needs saving? -- http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=88731

You did see this last comment (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=88731&page=7) in that forum, yes?
When I was in Philly this summer, I was more impressed by the ghettos, the abandoned buildings and the poverty than anything else...


Pretty buildings (and pretty pictures) don't save cities - people do.

Syrinx
September 15th, 2006, 11:31 AM
You did see this last comment (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=88731&page=7) in that forum, yes?


Pretty buildings (and pretty pictures) don't save cities - people do.


Thats hilarious. There was 1 negative reply out of 155 comments and 8,500 views and you feel the need try and cut Philadelphia down. Thats absolutely pathetic.

It was an amazing thread of an amazing city that you apparently know nothing about. Does Philadelphia have ghettoes? You bet it does but then again so does every other city in this country east of the Mississippi including huge swaths of our very own beloved NYC.

virtualchoirboy
September 15th, 2006, 12:15 PM
If you guys remember the statistics posted on here before it showed that people from NYC are moving down to Philly because its hip all of a sudden. They are even calling it the 6th borough, which is a croc. But I like Philly (Center City), the history, the site, very walkable. Every place elese is a hit or miss.

OmegaNYC
September 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM
So, you're telling me that Philadelphia, is being down downgraded from a major American city, to a brough of a city that is more than 80 miles away? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture??

stache
September 15th, 2006, 11:54 PM
Well if we can annex Miami as the sixth borough...

OmegaNYC
September 16th, 2006, 12:16 AM
that would be cool! :D Charlotte is another city that would make a nice "sixth borough"

asg
November 22nd, 2006, 09:47 AM
http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/travel/tmagazine/19liberal.html?ref=tmagazine&pagewanted=all (http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/travel/tmagazine/19liberal.html?ref=tmagazine&pagewanted=all)


The Talk
Liberal Arts in Philadelphia

Photographs by Kevin Cooley
From left: Alex Da Corte with one of his works; wallpaper by Jenny Holzer lines the ladies’ room at the Fabric Workshop and Museum.


By STEVEN STERN
Published: November 19, 2006
William Pym is a British expat with an art degree from Harvard (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/harvard_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org). Zoe Strauss is a self-taught photographer with a working-class background. Each is something of a local celebrity on the Philadelphia (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/unitedstates/pennsylvania/philadelphia/?inline=nyt-geo) art scene, and their stories tell much about the way this scene works.
Skip to next paragraph (http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/travel/tmagazine/19liberal.html?ref=tmagazine&pagewanted=all#secondParagraphsecondParagraph)

Kevin Cooley
A Jorge Pardo-designed room at the Fabric Workshop.
Pym moved to the city after a disillusioning stint trying to make it as an artist in New York. In search of cheap space and a less frantic environment, he found both here. He also found a day job at the well-respected Fleisher-Ollman Gallery — painting the walls. In six months he was curating shows. Today he’s the director of the gallery.

Born in Philadelphia, Strauss picked up a camera when she was 30 and started taking pictures of life in the city’s marginal neighborhoods. She displayed them on concrete pillars under Interstate 95 and sold photocopied prints for $5 each. Last year she received a $50,000 Pew Fellowship and was included in the Whitney Biennial (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/w/whitney_museum_of_american_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org). She’s still selling her prints for $5.

In this city, the art world doesn’t dance to the beat of a hyped-up market. Unlike New York and Los Angeles (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/unitedstates/california/losangeles/?inline=nyt-geo), where there are waiting lists for paintings with six-figure price tags and dealers pick and choose whom they’ll deign to sell to, the art scene is more accessible, and certainly more fun. While the city’s commercial gallery sector is growing in size and sophistication, it still doesn’t dominate. Larry Gagosian won’t be moving in anytime soon. You’re just as likely to see the work of a local artist in a grass-roots collective as in a clothing boutique, a nonprofit space or a historic 18th-century house. And in those spaces, you’re likely to see every major player, especially on First Fridays, when galleries stay open late, turning the whole city into an art-fueled cocktail party. Despite the homegrown atmosphere, the caliber of work is impressive. And competition is not really a factor. “You’re allowed not to be interested in what someone does,” Pym says. “But no one really sees the point of actively stomping on it and saying, ‘This is rubbish.”’

“I couldn’t have had the same career I’ve had if I went to New York,” says the artist Virgil Marti, who is represented by Elizabeth Dee gallery in New York and has lived in Philadelphia since the late 1980’s. Marti’s objects and installations — which wryly mix 70’s kitsch with historical interior design — have been collected by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/v/victoria_and_albert_museum/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in London (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/europe/unitedkingdom/england/london/?inline=nyt-geo) and the director Gus Van Sant. (“Virgil is probably our biggest international art export,” says Alex Baker, a curator at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.) Marti originally came to town to get an M.F.A. at Tyler School of Art, and he says that when he graduated, “there was a lot of stigma about staying in Philadelphia.”

For all its second-tier status, Philadelphia has had its share of art-world luminaries, beginning with the Revolutionary-era polymath Charles Willson Peale. Major institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/philadelphia_museum_of_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the Rodin Museum and the eclectic Barnes Foundation (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/b/barnes_foundation/index.html?inline=nyt-org), as well as the city’s art schools — Tyler, Moore College of Art and Design, the University of the Arts and the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (whose alumni include Thomas Eakins and David Lynch) — have nurtured important talent. Carlos Basauldo, a curator from the experimental Wexner Art Center in Ohio (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/unitedstates/ohio/?inline=nyt-geo), recently signed on as a curator for the contemporary art collection at the Philadelphia Art Museum; the museum is expanding its space, opening a new wing next summer.

For Marti, who received a Pew Fellowship in 1995 (the foundation issues up to 12 grants in the creative arts to Philadelphia-area residents each year), sticking around has clearly worked out well. His studio, on a cobblestone alley in the gentrified Old City neighborhood, is filled with plaster bones and antlers cast from resin, which he and his assistants are busy assembling into chandeliers and decorative moldings. Recently, a sort of mini-retrospective of Marti’s work was shown at Philadelphia University’s Design Center, a mod 1950’s ranch-style house that once belonged to William Paley’s mother. It was the perfect setting for his witty riffs on the domestic: the mirrored wall sconces and psychedelic black velvet wallpaper seemed to fit right in.

One of Marti’s assistants, the 26-year-old Alex Da Corte, is poised to be another Philadelphia success story. He creates whimsical quasi-autobiographical pieces featuring plush snakes, floral wallpaper and toy soldiers. He’s currently working on a collaborative project with his grandmother: a patchwork quilt. “It’s going to light up,” he says.

If electric quilts and flocked wallpaper are common themes in current Philadelphia artwork, they might have something to do with the Fabric Workshop and Museum, where Marti and Da Corte have served apprenticeships. It was founded in 1977 to promote textile art, and the program has brought to town international stars like Jorge Pardo, Marina Abramovic and Louise Bourgeois. Artists have filled rooms with horsehair (as Ann Hamilton did), and created a carpet of silicone rubber entrails (Mona Hatoum’s 1995 project). There’s nothing behind the scenes at the workshop; visitors get to wander among the cutting tables and sewing machines.

A gallery, studio space and all-purpose hangout, Space 1026 has a similar open-door policy. Founded in 1997 by four refugees from Providence (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/unitedstates/rhodeisland/providence/?inline=nyt-geo) and the Rhode Island School of Design circle, Space 1026 calls itself “a creative community — not an institution.” Twenty-eight artists work in a warren of cubiclelike studios in an industrial loft building on the southern edge of Chinatown. Their rent pays for the gallery, which with its soaring ceilings and pressed-tin walls makes for an unusual art space.

“We didn’t know we were filling a void,” says one of its co-founders, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, who has shown his neo-folk drawings in San Francisco (http://travel2.nytimes.com/top/features/travel/destinations/unitedstates/california/sanfrancisco/?inline=nyt-geo) and Los Angeles alongside the cult art star Barry McGee.

Yet the group quickly attracted attention, if only for its openings: in the early years, 1026 was known for the wildest parties in town. These days, things are a little quieter and more businesslike. (For one thing, the skateboard ramp in the gallery has been removed.) Crammed with screen presses and digital-music studios, the space serves as a hub of activity for artists making their names around town and beyond. It houses a T-shirt company, a record label and a publishing venture. One of its members, Adam Wallacavage, known for photographs of skateboarders, has recently started producing gloriously weird octopus-tentacled chandeliers, which were shown at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York last summer.

Meanwhile, the city’s blue-chip galleries are tapping into some of the local talent. The eminent Locks Gallery, in a stately manse on Washington Square, exhibits museum-quality works by Willem de Kooning (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/willem_de_kooning/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Frank Stella, but it is also committed to lesser-known Philadelphia artists, like the photographer Eileen Neff, the genre-hopping appropriationist Stuart Netsky and the Op Art painter Edna Andrade, who is still working at age 89. Fleisher-Ollman — another longtime presence, established in 1952 — has reinvented itself under the guidance of Pym. Once a pioneer in outsider art, it has turned its attention toward younger artists who are working in the Henry Darger-inspired naif style that is now popular. The gallery represents Anthony Campuzano, who makes brightly colored text paintings, and Tristin Lowe, a creator of darkly childlike assemblages.

For fresh-out-of-grad-school talent, there are small but slick new spaces like Basekamp. Located above the trendy Japanese restaurant Morimoto in Center City, the gallery regularly invites art collectives from around the world to collaborate on large-scale projects. At her eponymous gallery, Bridgette Mayer has cultivated a younger clientele for her abstract works. The program at Gallery Joe is made up mostly of drawings, with entry-level prices. And treading the line between art and commerce, the Philadelphia-based company Cerealarts sells multiples out of a shop in the Old City. There you can pick up Yayoi Kusama pillows and Marcel Dzama saltshakers.

Yet selling contemporary art to the local population remains an uphill battle, which is a good thing for the out-of-town collector. There’s more inventory than in a market like New York. Those with the money to collect here often gravitate toward traditional landscapes and portraits; those with a taste for the contemporary usually can’t afford to buy. “The thing we lack is the hipster with disposable income,” Baker says.

But that hasn’t deterred six young artists from Cincinnati, who moved east in 2004 to start Black Floor Gallery. The gallery, which was recently overtaken by Luren Jenison’s colorful yurt, shares Space 1026’s mantle of cool. “I wasn’t interested in moving to a city that didn’t need more energy,” Annette Monnier, of Black Floor, says. “New York didn’t need me.”

Of course, New York doesn’t need anyone. That’s the point, isn’t it? For artists besotted with fame and glitz, making a mark in the inhospitable art capital will always be a goal. Philadelphia is not the new Chelsea — or the new Williamsburg or the new Lower East Side for that matter. And it probably doesn’t want to be. The city provides a glimpse of what Baker calls “a community of generosity.” This generosity affects the work. Pym says he’s seeing “more smart, globally aware, unprovincial work each year” — and it can easily rub off on the viewer. For artist and visitor alike, Philadelphia offers a respite from overheated scenes, unwelcoming galleries and the economy of the latest thing.

ablarc
November 25th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Major institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/philadelphia_museum_of_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the Rodin Museum and the eclectic Barnes Foundation (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/b/barnes_foundation/index.html?inline=nyt-org), as well as the city’s art schools — Tyler, Moore College of Art and Design, the University of the Arts and the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (whose alumni include Thomas Eakins and David Lynch) — have nurtured important talent.
Barnes Foundation needs to stay in Merion, as stipulated. Bad enough that they sold some things in the collection.

Syrinx
November 25th, 2006, 08:00 PM
Walmart/Sams Club heir Alice Walton just paid $68 M for a Thomas Eakins painting "The Gross Clinic" which was housed in Thomas Jefferson University in downtown Philly. The local arts community is up in arms about losing this painting to Arkansas. This is the same local arts community that pilfered the $6.5 B dollar barnes Foundation art collection from Lower Merion. The irony of it all.

ablarc
November 25th, 2006, 09:23 PM
This is the same local arts community that pilfered the $6.5 B dollar Barnes Foundation art collection from Lower Merion.
Is that a done deal?

Syrinx
November 26th, 2006, 12:08 AM
The move is official as it made its way through court for the past couple years. The hold up now is the site that the Barnes will be relocated to houses the Youth Service Study a.k.a juvenile court. They are in the process of finding a home for YSS in West Philly. Then they will build a new museum for the Barnes Foundation.

Also, recently a U.S. state rep from Montgomery County introduced a bill that would impose a tax on any tax-exempt group who receives a donation with the purpose of moving its operation. In this case the Barnes received like $150 M dollars from various local trusts. In effect the state reps bill wants the Barnes to have pay a $150 M tax for leaving Lower Merion and that isn't happening as the #1 backer for this move is present Pennsylvania Governor and former Philly mayor( and NYC native) Ed Rendell.