March 7: Mayor Nutter’s budget details | Kelly Drive advisory | Blatstein’s Broad and Washington plans | Neighbors support Queen Lane Apartment demolition | Faux bricks cause stir in Old City

Good morning and happy Friday Streeters! Enjoy the nice weather this weekend. 

Mayor Nutter presented his budget before Council yesterday. The budget sets aside $2 million for the Department of Licenses and Inspections, $15 million for Parks & Rec to improve facilities across the city and $16 million for the Streets Department to pave neighborhood streets throughout the city. There is also $5 million for improvements to commercial centers, $2.5 million to extend the Suburban Station concourse to the new Comcast tower and $2.5 million for the Free Library of Philadelphia to provide six-day service at all branches. 

Advisory: Kelly Drive will be detoured in both directions from Hunting Park Avenue to South Ferry Road on Saturday, March 8, 7am – 3pm. During this time crews will be doing necessary tree trimming. 

It appears Bart Blatstein would like to build a 94-foot building that houses a cinema, grocery story, restaurants, gym, running track and retail spaces, as well as 1,000 parking spaces at the retail hub he has proposed for Broad and Washington. The leasing agent working with Blatstein released a leasing brochure outlining these amenities. Some still hope to turn the site into a one-season setting for the Philadelphia Arts Market.  

Neighbors in Germantown say they are happy to see the shuttered public-housing Queen Lane Apartments demolished. The building was closed more than two years ago and scheduled to come down in Aug. 2012. The discovery of a mid-18th century burial ground behind the tower delayed those plans. No remains have been found on the site though, so the Department of Housing and Urban Development can give the Philadelphia Housing Authority the green light to move froward with demolition. 

Plans for the new Museum of the American Revolution are receiving some push back. PlanPhilly’s Ashley Hahn explains that critics are upset by the “phony-coloni” design, which proposes the use of faux bricks. Other design elements – a lack of ground floor windows along Chestnut Street and a cupola that apes Independence Hall – also raise concern. The new museum will sit where the old, and soon to be demolished, Independence Visitor Center now lives. 

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