October 16: Historical Society celebrates | Penn’s Landing future | Marinakos takes the 5th | Ad hoc art on N. 5th | Manayunk church turning condo | Walnut Lane Bridge update | Johnson defends abatement

Good day, Streeters. Here’s your Wednesday morning Buzz:

Today the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will celebrate the completion of a $5.7 million renovation which makes room for public displays from its awesome archives and creates room to grow the collection, the Inquirer reports. From Noon-8:30pm today the public is invited see true treasures from the collection – the first map of Philadelphia, a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln, a handwritten draft of the Constitution, among others – for free.

In case you missed the big presentation on Penn’s Landing’s possible future yesterday, it’s up online now. See the show on the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s website.

Plato A. Marinakos Jr., the architect who obtained the demolition permit for the construction project at 22nd and Market where a partial collapse killed six people this June, is refusing to turn over correspondence to federal investigators. The Inquirer reports that Marinakos is citing the Fifth Amendment in refusing to turn over certain documents to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for this afternoon.

On North 5th Street Dino Vazquez is building a found-object art empire –robots from scrap parts, curbside memorials from bookshelves for lost neighbors, and planters adorned with bottle caps. Vazquez told NewsWorks he creates art to empower and inspire: “People that pass through here, they say oh, you’re very creative, and then I say to them, you can do the same. You can do something for your neighborhood, for your family, something for you. Just improve the way you’re living.”

Developer Andy Thomas is converting the Fourth Reformed Church at Manayunk and Monastery aves. into eight one-bedroom condo units, reports Naked Philly.

The planned PennDOT overhaul of the Walnut Lane Bridge has been pushed back and the project’s scope expanded to include a redesigned roundabout in Blue Bell Hill. NewsWorks explains how the project is changing – including traffic-calming designs and improvements for pedestrians – and those changes mean the project will not likely go out for bid until this time next year.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has an opinion piece today about why the benefits of the 10-year tax abatement for real estate developments outweigh the costs. He argues that the abatement has resulted in millions of dollars in direct and indirect benefits, and we need more “hard data” before critics undo the abatement in the name of finding more money for city schools and pension obligations. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
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