January 3: Peace Park + empowering design | 2016’s lost buildings | Philly’s ancient budget software

Happy New Year, dear readers. We begin 2017 so grateful to everyone who donated to support PlanPhilly last month. We raised more than $20,000 thanks to your generosity.

North Philly Peace Park, displaced as part of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s sweeping plans to redevelop Sharswood, is putting roots down on a new site. Samantha Melamed reports design work for the Peace Park’s second version and a new schoolhouse was developed in collaboration with PennDesign students through a PennPraxis social impact project. The Peace Park has launched a crowdfunding campaign aiming to build its new schoolhouse in March, and needs to find a building partner for the project.

Brad Maule walks through the lost buildings of 2016 for Hidden City, a walk through destruction from Mt. Sinai Hospital to Society Hill Playhouse, homes that were part of Dyottville to William Penn High School.

Philadelphia uses a 35-year-old accounting program called FAMIS to manage the city’s budget. Claudia Vargas explains how FAMIS has lasted so long and what it would take to upgrade to a more flexible and modern system.

Testimony resumes today in the civil suit over the fatal demolition-related collapse at 22nd and Market streets in 2013. “What is not known is what – if anything – has happened since Dec. 14, when the trial recessed for the holidays, which might affect how the rest of the trial proceeds,” writes the Inquirer’s Joseph Slobodzian.

Eat at Little Pete’s before August. The 24-hour diner has been told to leave by the end of August to make way for a new hotel, Dan McQuade reports.

2016 was Philly’s 2nd warmest year on record, beaten only by 2012. The Inquirer also reports that 2016 was really dry for the region, with six inches’ less precipitation than average.  

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