Building boom roundup | UArts design pedigree | Philly’s social-media chops | home prices down | National Night Out

Look across Philly’s skyline and you’ll see cranes, a clear sign of renewed construction activity here. Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin rounds up 30 current residential and institutional construction projects – 26 happening without public subsidy –  that constitute Philly’s current building boom. Developer Jim Pearlstein, who is behind two residential construction projects on Callowhill, told Rubin, “Philadelphia is now an upper-tier city for investment. The difference between Philadelphia now and eight years ago is night and day.”

This week PlanPhilly’s Alan Jaffe focuses his Look Up! on University of the Arts’ Dorrance Hamilton Hall, finding the architectural legacy of three of our greatest architects. John Haviland’s Classical Revival building was completed in 1824 as the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and William Strickland added on to it in 1828. By 1875 Frank Furness doubled its size, adding the brick Victorian Gothic wing toward 15th Street.

A new Fels Institute report gave Philly government high marks for the city’s social-media use and strategy, reports Flying Kite. Cities were not ranked in the report but Fels Senior Advisor Eric Rabe said he would place Philly in the top ten.

Area home prices fell in the first quarter of 2012 from 2011 and haven’t quite reached bottom, reports the Inquirer. Fiserv Case-Shiller Indices indicated a 3.2% drop in 1st Quarter prices, while Econsult’s Kevin Gillen’s home-price index found a decrease of 6.1% for the same period. For the second quarter, year-over-year, Gillen said prices rose slightly.

Tonight is National Night Out, and Philly Confidential reports that Police Chief Charles Ramsey will be live-tweeting the event (@PhillyPolice, #PhillyNNO). During National Night Out residents and police will meet on neighborhood streets to patrol and discuss crime-prevention activities. The event was created 29 years ago as a way to foster community-police partnerships in fighting crime and drugs. Here’s a list of tonight’s neighborhood Night Out activities.


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