Don’t skimp on Philly casino aesthetics, architects urge

As groups compete to open a second casino in Philadelphia, some designers and architects say the state needs to pay more attention to how casino buildings would appear on the outside.  

Architect George Claflen, vice chair of the Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia, said design requirements can help projects have a positive impact on the city.  He wants casinos, like other major projects, to get more attention.

“Large urban investments are usually not only vetted, but go through a detailed planning process,” Claflen said.

A windowless building that interacts poorly with its surroundings is the least attractive option, he said.

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“You have to think about the quality of the place that you’re making.  And even a big strong city like Philadelphia can only take so many insults to itself before it creates deterioration,” Claflen. “So that’s why I think there’s a lot at stake here.  This is a big investment.”

In a written statement, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said the board follows the guidelines of the Gaming Act on location and quality of proposed facilities in choosing candidates.

City residents can offer their opinions on all aspects of the casino proposals, including the aesthetics of a facility,  in person during public hearings in Philadelphia on April 11, April 12 and May 8. Comments may also be submitted in writing.

More information on how to participate in the public input process is available on the board’s website.


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