Phila. moves to restore Divine Lorraine

A decaying landmark on North Broad Street that was once a hotel and a mecca for followers of a cult-like religious figure could finally be on track for a rebirth.

The magnificent hulk of a building at Broad and Fairmount, may be covered in graffiti now, but the Divine Lorraine Hotel was once a gem on North Broad Street.

Developers want to bring the Divine Lorraine back, but of course reviving the landmark requires money.

So the city’s agreed to put up almost $3.4 million dollars toward the project, if the developer’s application to the state for low income housing tax credits is successful.

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Paul Chrystie, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development said the money the city would put up is intended for this sort of project.

“They are federal funds,” Chrystie said, “home funds and community development block grant funds that the city gets and they are for purposes like this — taking a under-utilized structure and enabling it to be repurposed and also having that create revitzliation in the area immediately adjacent to it.”

Chrystie says about half the building’s floors would be turned into affordable housing. He says developers expect to find out if they’ve received the low income housing tax credits next summer.

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