First, some housekeeping: It’s Columbus Day, a federal and state holiday, so remember that all city offices will be closed and trash pickup will come one day later than normal. Also, tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in Pennsylvania in time for the presidential election. You can register or update your registration online.
Construction has begun at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the “core project”, a $196 million largely interior overhaul of the museum by Frank Gehry. Stephan Salisbury explains what to expect during construction and reports that the museum’s board agreed to proceed with the project in June even though not all of the funding is on hand. The project will add gallery space and “unclog” the heart of the museum itself, making the spatial arrangement more rational. Be prepared for construction through 2020 – entrances will change, the restaurant will close, the museum shop to move, and the auditorium will be relocated into the Perelman Building. (Read more from our coverage of the project.)
The School District of Philadelphia will test drinking water at all schools for lead over the next 18 months, the Keystone Crossroads reports. The program will cost $1.5 million. This summer water fountains at 40 schools were tested and 86 percent passed muster, and the rest were removed.
In civil trial testimony, an architect hired by the Salvation Army to document the condition of its thrift store at 22nd and Market during demolition work next door testified he destroyed his field notes after the fatal demolition-related collapse. Architect Jack Higgins also testified that weeks prior to the collapse the Salvation Army and representatives for property owner Richard Basciano and STB Investments had agreed to “hire lawyers and an architect to draft a roof-access agreement that would let demolition workers knock down the Hoagie City wall above the thrift store’s roof and ensure the store’s safety,” the Inquirer reports.
Samantha Maldonado reports that the University of Pennsylvania is providing bike commuting reimbursements up to $240 per year, enabled by the under-used federal Bicycle Commuter Act.
Curbed offers a peek at Fairmount Park past through a few vintage postcards.