The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is set to implode the 16-story Queen Lane Apartments at 7:15 a.m. Saturday. What follows is a list of frequently asked questions (along with the appropriate answers) regarding the demolotion.
Where is it? The Queen Lane Apartments tower is located at 301 W. Queen Lane. The property is bounded by Priscilla St., W. Penn St. and Pulaski Ave.
Who is in charge of the implosion? Controlled Demolitions, Inc., a firm from Phoenix, Md. that brought down buildings nationally like the Kingdome in Seattle.
What will replace the tower? PHA plans to replace the property with a low-density development featuring 55 new rental units.
When do residents have to evacuate? Evacuation-zone residents must leave the area by 6 a.m. All parking in the immediate area will be prohibited; cars left along the streets will be towed.
What is the evacuation zone? Starting at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, PHA employees will knock on the doors of 79 Germantown properties to ensure that residents leave their homes. The evacuation zone includes blocks on West Queen Lane, Priscilla Street, West Penn Street, Pulaski Avenue and Newhall Street. All houses are within a block or two of the Queen Lane Apartments.
Where can residents go? Residents in the evacuation zone are asked to make arrangements to stay with family or shelter in the comfort center at Cook-Wissahickon School, 201 E Salaignac St., which opens at 5 a.m. Shuttles will pick residents up at 245 W. Queen Lane and the corner of W. Penn and Priscilla sts.
When can residents return? The police and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Air Management Services will determine when residents are safe to return to their homes. Authorities estimated that residents will need to remain away from their homes for up to eight hours after the implosion as clean-up crews clear the streets and health officials monitor air quality. Residents can call the Queen Lane Implosion Hotline at (215) 684-3001 to learn when it is safe to return home.
What is the “dust zone”? Beyond this evacuation zone is an area where dust is expected to linger. This area is confined by Wayne Avenue to the northeast, Hansberry Street to the southeast, McKean Avenue to the southwest and West Coulter Street to the northwest.
What should I do to prevent the effects of dust? PHA advises residents of the dust zone to remain inside during the demolition and to “take preventative measures to ensure dust does not enter their homes.” Close all doors and windows tightly. Turn off all air intakes and exhaust fans before the implosion. Place a piece of tape or a rolled-up towel in any broken windows or doors to block air gaps.
What about our pets? Those who live in the evacuation zone should take their pets with them when they leave. Pets in the dust zone should be kept inside on the day of the implosion.
What about our cars? Residents in the evacuation and dust zones are asked to move their cars off the street to expedite clean-up efforts. Residents in the dust zone may leave vehicles in the driveway or garage.
What if the blast results in rodent infestation? If residents experience rodent problems after the demolition, they should contact the Department of Public Health’s Rat Complaint Line at (215) 685-9000, or call 311.
Will the dust harm my garden? Dust from the implosion is not expected to harm gardens or plants in the neighborhood.
Will the dust harm my drinking water? Per the PHA, all of Queen Lane’s finished drinking water is stored in covered reservoirs. The open reservoir is for raw river water which is then treated and filtered as it is passed through the plant. Treatment and filtering will remove all possible “dust” from the implosion.
What if the implosion damages my home? Call PHA’s Queen Lane Implosion Hotline at (215) 684- 3001.
Will the Potter’s Field be recognized before the implosion? A community prayer and African Libation Ceremony will take place at 6:20 a.m. the day of the implosion “to pay homage to the Ancestors of Germantown Potter’s Field.” That will take place at 304 W Coulter St.
Where can I go for more information? PHA has set up a website to offer details. Call the PHA hotline at (215) 684-3001 or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.This story was reported by Carrie Hagen, Brian Hickey, Lou Mancinelli, Marcus McCarthy and Alan Jaffe. Several FAQs were taken from a similar post on the PHA’s website.