August 31: Contesting Toll’s Jewelers’ Row permits | Circus school meets church reuse | Rowhouse mediocrity

Some merchants and property owners on Jewelers’ Row are contesting the permits L&I issued for the planned Toll Bros. demolition and development. Jacob Adelman reports the group is appealing on the grounds that the properties were not properly posted with notices and that the zoning permit includes inaccurate information. The Preservation Alliance is part of the appeal and is seeking funds to support their legal appeals.

Philly’s getting the first professional circus school in the U.S. and Dan McQuade explains why that makes good sense. Even cooler news, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts has found a new home in Germantown – the former New Covenant Baptist Church at Wayne and Queen. Fundraising for the effort is underway and the hope is to open for classes in Fall 2017.

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez is taking aim at towing scams, reports Hayden Mittman. She introduced three bills, which are still in committee, to tighten the oversight on towing companies, including the creation of a public database to track locations where towing companies have active contracts to tow.

Cassie Owens penned a commentary on why so much new construction is unattractive, with nods to the rare example of interesting rowhouse infill, and how she’s learned to love the city’s overwhelmingly mediocre crop of new rowhouses. If curb cuts and Sponge Bob Square Bays are your thing, enjoy. If you have higher hopes for rowhouse design, join us for a conversation we’re co-hosting with DAG on October 13 for DesignPhiladelphia about what a 21st century rowhouse should be. Stay tuned for details.

Richard Florida talks with Melody Warnick about loving where you live and notions of place attachment that she explores in her book This is Where You Belong.

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