PlanPhilly weekly news recap 12-13-2007

12-13-2007

Dear PlanPhilly member,

During the past week, PlanPhilly reporters brought you several exclusive, breaking stories in design and planning.

1. SugarHouse Archaeological Dig: Unearthing the Past

Kellie Patrick Gates reported that archaeologists – hired by the SugarHouse Casino in order to meet the requirements of a federal Clean Water Act permit – have dug enough historical items of interest on the site that the Pennsylvania Historical Commission is looking into the finding. Check out the story and slideshow of revealing maps: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2386.

Some maps indicate that a British Fort existed on the site during the British occupation of Philadelphia in 1777.  Read more and see images: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2401.

2. North Broad Demolition Threat Looms

As reported by Matt Blanchard, two historically significant buildings on N. Broad Street have been slated for demolition, despite a binding agreement reached between the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority to preserve them. The Preservation Alliance and Design Advocacy Group have petitioned the Convention Center Authority to uphold their original agreement. Click here for the full story: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2371.

The Inquirer editorialized today that the Center should save the buildings: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20071213_Editorial___Expanded_Convention_Center_should_leave_room_for_history.html

3. Development News or Demolition Blues?

An Irish development group has striking new plans for the former Parking Authority site on the northwest corner of Rittenhouse Square. Castleway Properties is planning a hotel, condo and retail project on a T-shaped site on the 1900 block of Walnut and Sansom Streets. But at risk are three historic structures along Sansom Street that locals just rescued from the wrecking ball in 2004. Click here to read the story: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2358.

Inga Saffron covered this as well in her Changing Skyline blog: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/12241071.html.

4. Community Considers Civil Disobedience

John Davidson gave us the first glimpse of what could play out at SugarHouse Casino’s Delaware Avenue site in the coming weeks, as Casino-Free Philadelphia staged what they called a “practice site occupation.” Click here to watch the video: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2383.  Click here to read the story: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2381.

5. City and State battle over riparian rights

In 200-0 vote, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives calls for the state Attorney General to issue an injunction challenging Philadelphia’s Commerce Department decision on the SugarHouse Casino riparian land situation. Click here to read the story: http://www.planphilly.com/node/2393.

6. Central Delaware Process Resonates Across River

The Gloucester County Times reports on riverfront development in South Jersey and what the Central Delaware Planning Process meant for the region.  Click here to read the story: http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1197188843262960.xml&coll=8.

7. Central Delaware Accolades

PennPraxis received the 2007 American Institute of Architects Philadelphia Urban Design Committee Award for creating A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware.  Harris Steinberg accepted the award on December 6 at an AIA gathering.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 13: Imagine Philadelphia public meeting (West Philadelphia) — http://www.planphilly.com/node/2302
Jan. 3: Design Advocacy Group monthly meeting — http://www.planphilly.com/node/2395
Jan. 9: ZCC Informational Session: Presentation by Water Department — http://www.planphilly.com/node/2292

Best until next week,
Matt Golas, Managing Editor

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