Commercial viability of Front St in Kensington | W Hotel moving forward | Team Vick Field for Hunting Park | Why we love Furness, now

Neighbors are appealing the zoning decision that will allow Women’s Community Revitalization Project to demolish two historic (but not designated) bank buildings at Front and Norris streets to build 25 units of affordable housing. Among their complaints: no ground-floor retail. But The Naked City wonders, “Is a Front Street commercial corridor in Kensington even viable, or is it just nostalgic to think so?”

A W Hotel may rise on the parking lot at 15th and Chestnut, Naked Philly reports that the Center City Residents’ Association saw plans for the proposed 52-story hotel in August and The Inquirer reports that the developers have secured a $400 million loan for the project. For those keeping score at home, a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (and residences) had been proposed for this property back in 2008.

Michael Vick’s charity is donating $200,000 to renovate Hunting Park’s football field, marking yet another star-powered investment in the park’s revitalization, reports the Inquirer. Team Vick’s donation will be part of a $1 million project to build a better field so that the Hunting Park Aztecs, a champion Pop Warner team, can actually play games on their own turf.

Ken Finkel explains the 20th Century’s hate-love affair with Frank Furness on PhillyHistory. Despite a period during which so many great Furness buildings were destroyed, our reasons for loving Furness buildings today aren’t so far off from architect Louis Sullivan’s at age 17: “Here was something fresh and fair…a human note, as though someone were talking.”

 

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