August 18: Changing Washington Ave | President’s House | Oil train safety | Petrochemical history | Park Towne Place redo | Inside Bok | Tax delinquency

Good morning, Philly. Here’s what we’re reading:

Holly Otterbein outlined the forces and tensions that are reshaping Washington Avenue particularly rezoning west of Broad to create a more mixed-use corridor and on-again / off-again efforts to make a less hostile street for pedestrians and cyclists.

President’s House on Independence Mall has had no shortage of problems since it opened in 2010: Condensation and leaks threatened archaeological remains underfoot, while video systems interpreting stories of the site are perpetually out of order. The Inquirer reports, the city is about to turn over control of President’s House to the National Park Service as part of Independence National Historical Park, along with a $2 million maintenance endowment. Here’s hoping NPS can improve the mess.

States have limited leverage to make oil trains safer, but a new report commissioned by Governor Wolf has 27 recommendations to increase freight rail safety in Pennsylvania. Among the recommendations: adopting even lower speeds in urban areas when trains carry hazardous cargo like oil, stepped-up track inspections on routes where oil trains travel, and install more monitoring devices.

Petrochemical industry has long hugged the banks of the Schuylkill River. Hidden City Daily looks back at the Schuylkill River’s refining legacy, a disastrous refinery fire 40 years ago this week, and whether the resurgent refining industry can coexist with new visions for the Schuylkill.

Property takes a look at the artsy makeover underway at Park Towne Place’s four mid-century buildings. In addition to overhauling units and common spaces, the owners are reworking the park space around the property in partnership with the city.

Have a look inside the former Bok Technical High School via Streets Dept.

From the Department of Sad Maps: Philadelinquency has released an updated map of property tax delinquency in Philadelphia. Far from a pretty picture.

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