October 27: Saucer fire-damaged | Post Bros refurbishing Garden Court Building | Cutting sidewalk construction costs

Talk about timing: Hot on the heels of Ashley Hahn’s update on the new LOVE Park design, a fire broke out damaging the Welcome Center last night, reports Emily Babay. The extent of the damage is not yet known, but we’ll have an update for the Saucerheads as we learn more. 

Mayor Nutter ordered another L+I investigation in response to an Inquirer report that the agency is still falling down on the job when it comes to demolition site inspections. 

OCF Realty reports three new four-story apartment buildings are being proposed for the edge of Francisville at 16th and Girard, close to Ridge Avenue and Temple. 

Post Brothers bought the Garden Court Plaza building at 47th and Pine in West Philly and have plans to renovate it with 146 apartments. They’re also adding a green roof (complete with dog park) atop the 260-car parking garage and are restoring historic features like the dual-panel front door system. 

SALT Design Studio presented the community with three possible plans for a green makeover of Chester Arthur Elementary’s school yard. 

Here’s another use for Philly’s old industrial buildings. Jacob Adelman says data centers are increasingly looking for former industrial spaces close to customers in big cities. 1500 Spring Garden Street, the Terminal Commerce Building at 401 N. Broad St, and the Lasher Printing Co. building at 1309 Noble St. are some local examples. 

National transit advocacy groups are panning the House transportation funding bill. Angie Schmitt at Streetsblog rounded up the reactions.

For the Kenney transition files: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has a plan to slash sidewalk construction costs.

It can take up to 27 seconds to regain full attention after issuing hands-free voice commands to a car infotainment system or smartphone, according to a pair of studies commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Buffalo, NY is overhauling their 62-year-old zoning code with a new Green Code promoting walkable urbanism in the city’s neighborhoods and business districts, reports Mark Sommer.

An interesting back and forth between Yonah Freemark of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and Daniel Hertz of City Observatory about how generational preference changes alone won’t move the needle on car dependence. “In effect, land use patterns lock in place the mode choice preferences of previous generations,” says Hertz.

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