Demolition for Church of the Assumption | Preventing demo of Bunting House | Wilde Yarn Mill residential reuse | Council shouldn’t diminish, politicize community role in zoning

Good morning Streeters. Today promises to be even more spring-like than yesterday, so get out and enjoy the day before it rains tonight and winter’s chill returns. 

The Church of the Assumption has been posted with demolition notices, reports PlanPhilly. After years of legal wrangling, a path was ultimately cleared for the church’s demolition when Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox upheld the Historical Commission’s finding of financial hardship. This summer developer John Wei purchased the church and its related properties for more than one million dollars, raising the hopes of preservationists that the church could be reused. Wei told PlanPhilly at the time that he had no plans for the property.

Those opposing demolition of the Bunting House in Roxborough plan to seek an injunction to keep Giovannone Construction from razing the historic (but not protected) building on Ridge Avenue, reports Amy Z. Quinn for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks. Attorney Carl Primavera, representing the owners, said that they have made an unsuccessful, good faith effort to find new tenants and are now opting for demolition. “If the building had been registered as historic, my clients would never have purchased it.” A hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.

Manayunk’s Wilde Yarn Mill will be redeveloped into a 45-unit apartment complex, reports Hidden City Daily. Architect Peter Bloomfeld and developer Scott Janzen plan to sections of the mill complex, dating from 1884 and 1932, and add new construction to the site. The mill produced wool carpet yarn from the 1800s until 2008, and was the last of its kind in Philadelphia. The equipment is being dismembered, some of which will be reused in Ralph Lauren store displays and other elements will remain on-site, and construction should begin in spring.

In an opinion piece today, Architect Kiki Bolender blasts Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s proposed revisions to the role of Registered Community Organizations established under the new zoning code. Bolender contends Blackwell’s changes would substantially diminish community voice and concentrate more power at the hands of District Councilmembers in zoning matters. “These changes would deeply politicize the new code’s review process. They would make it harder for the people most affected by projects to inform and be heard by developers. And the worst aspects of the old zoning and development process would be enshrined in the new code.” Blackwell’s proposed legislation will be debated at today’s City Council Committee on Rules meeting [agenda pdf].


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