Made in America transformed and privatized the Parkway this weekend – at an unknown cost to the city – and the effect was so dramatic that Daily News columnist and Parkway neighbor Ronnie Polaneczky said it energized her to see the place anew. “There was something unexpectedly delightful about being inside a space that had been so thoroughly reimagined, that I saw it with new eyes. It made me feel giddy about a Parkway event in a way I hadn’t felt in years.” This morning MIA cleanup continues.
The Kimmel Center’s rooftop garden never really worked, suffering alternately from unforgiving acoustics or an uncontrollable climate, but BLT Architects have carefully reworked the space into an “elegant new room,” writes Inga Saffron in her latest column. BLT inserted a glass room into the large vaulted space, creating a more usable space without entirely sacrificing the drama of Rafael Viñoly’s design. “Enclosing a small rooftop garden may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but the $6 million project is the first in a series of carefully calibrated architectural moves that are intended to win back the public’s affection for the luckless Kimmel and ultimately help it to thrive financially.” The revised rooftop garden opens today. Next up: opening up the bland Spruce Street façade with a Jose Garces restaurant set to open this winter.
Also from the Overdue Change Department: The U.S. Mint has, mercifully, updated its public tour, the Daily News reports. It’s no understatement when Mint’s Tim Grant says, “We just weren’t telling our story correctly.” Here’s hoping the new visitor experience feels less like visit to a North Korean airport. Tours are self-guided and free.
The PhillyHistory blog visits the interwoven history of flooding and manufacturing along the Frankford Creek, focusing on Tremont Mills – one of the neighborhood’s oldest textile mills. During a street-widening and flood control effort during the 1950s, Tremont Mills somehow was spared and documented, and now, “more than sixty years later, the abbreviated ruins of Tremont await their fate, boarded up above, biding time as a car parts shop, below.” The Lower Northeast District Plan recommends adding Tremont Mills to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, in the hopes of keeping this piece of Frankford’s historic fabric intact.