March 30: An oversaturated music venue market? | Smith Memorial Arch | Street sensors, cameras, and privacy

Developer Eric Blumenthal’s planned $35 million renovation of the Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad and Poplar Streets marks a win for historic preservation. However, by adding 4,000 more seats with Bala Cynwyd-based promoter Live Nation, is the Met entering a market that’s oversaturated with music venues? The Inquirer’s Dan DeLuca discusses where the Met might fit amongst local staples such as the Kimmel Center, the Fillmore, and the Electric Factory.

Currently, the American economy functions with “11 million people working in the shadows.” New American Economy executive director Jeremy Robbins speaks with CBS Talk Radio’s Dom Giordano about the intricate network of suppliers, field workers, shippers, etc. that links immigration with economic development.

Eight bronze busts of Civil War heroes and Philadelphia dignitaries, along with eight allegorical bas-relief angels, sit atop an elegant heap of Beaux-Arts marble marking the breathtaking gateway to West Fairmount Park. Yet the Smith Memorial Arch, which brought together the work of 14 of the era’s leading artists at the turn of the 20th century, has no official designation on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Hidden City’s Ben Leech traces the history of the monument that was secretly commissioned in 1890 and took 22 years to complete and install.

Depending on where you drive in Pennsylvania, PennDOT might not be the only ones watching.” Keystone Crossroads’ Eleanor Klibanoff discusses how the next generation of street sensors and cheap, high-quality cameras could help cities’ flow of traffic but also raise serious questions of privacy.

70 year-old Len Davidson has spent 40 years building his collection of 150 neon signs in Philadelphia. Many signs, such as for Central Penn National Bank in Frankford and Bookbinders were made for local businesses during a former era of the bustling commercial corridors and “collectively tell the story of Philly’s lost commercial past.” Inga Saffron makes the case for a permanent neon museum to preserve an underappreciated form of Philadelphia folk art.

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