January 20: MLK day reflections | St. Bridget school conversion | Carl Greene to be barred | Route 47 pilot refresher | Comcast building as symbol, connector

Happy Martin Luther King Day, Streeters. We hope you have the day off today and are using it as an opportunity to give back.

Mel Dorn reflected on his time working with Dr. King and Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters as a young civil rights activist from North Philly. The Inquirer reports that Dorn will be part of the Day of Service at Girard College.

The East Falls Community Council heard more details on the conversion of the St. Bridget’s parish school to residential use. NewsWorks reports that there will be 32 1- and 2-bedroom rental units, including 9 reserved for seniors. NewsWorks reports that HOW Properties has refined its plans, but remain committed to a fully residential conversion, hopeful that tenants will be drawn by access to the Manayunk-Norristown Regional Rail line. There are still outstanding concerns about parking and stormwater management. No date has been set for a Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing.

Don’t expect former Philadelphia Housing Authority director Carl Greene to come back to government work anytime soon: The Inquirer reports that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Greene to be barred for three years from working branches of the federal government.  Greene lied about using PHA funds for lobbying activities. Greene’s administration has been under investigation by federal authorities, including the FBI, since his firing in 2010.

Streetsblog has a helpful refresher on just what happened during the Route 47 pilot project aimed at making this heavily used and congested bus route run faster and more efficiently. The pilot wasn’t successful at that – thanks in large part to traffic signal delays – it was successful at rebuilding cooperation between SEPTA and the City.

Comcast stands to reformulate the architectural imagery of the technology industry. An urban icon for the wired world has been long overdue. Foster’s design promises to provide it,” writes Inga Saffron in her column on the new Comcast Innovation & Technology Center.

Hidden City Daily’s Brad Maule talked with John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust’s Senior Vice President & Urban Regional Director, about the process of developing the new Comcast tower, from working with Foster + Partners to thinking about creating a place where people actually want to work. “In this building, we’re making technology. You don’t end up driving it, or putting it in your pocket—in its essence, it establishes connections, so the building’s floors are open for those connections, for interaction,” Gattuso said.

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