May 16: Art Museum renovations | Girard Square demolition | Parking Authority OKs fluctuating surcharges | Gubernatorial candidates on biking, arts, culture | Concealed utility meters

Good morning, Streeters! The Bike to Work Day that had been scheduled for this morning was postponed until Monday

This summer the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present an exhibit on its own future. “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art,” will give visitors a glimpse of the renovation project that will include 78,000 square feet of new gallery space, entrance renovations and a new 299-seat auditorium. Only minimal changes are planned for the building’s exterior. 

A multi-phase project to demolish Girard Square, bounded by Market, Chestnut, 11th and 12th streets, will begin this summer. Natalie Kostelni reports for the Philadelphia Business Journal that the $230 million phase-one will demolish the buildings fronting Market Street and a replace them with a 17-story tower. The lower levels will get 160,000 square feet of retail space, and the upper levels will have 322 apartment units. 

The Philadelphia Parking Authority’s board voted last month to allow the fuel surcharge system used by Philadelphia Taxicabs to fluctuate monthly based on fluctuating gas prices. The surcharge will be posted on the PPA’s website prior to each month. The fuel surcharge for June 1 through June 30 is $1.10 per taxi ride. 

Yesterday we told you the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia asked each gubernatorial candidate where they stand on bicycling-related issues. Candidate Katie McGinty has responded in favor of policy changes aimed at improving biking and walking conditions. You can see here answers on the Bike Coalition’s new blog

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has released a report on where the democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on issues related to arts and culture

For those who consider utility meters on the front of homes an eyesore, Naked Philly has good news. While the meters are required to be placed on the front of new homes, The Building Industry Association of Philadelphia has been working with PECO and PGW to design a compromise – essentially a recessed area on the front of a home for the utility components that can be covered by a perforated panel. 

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