Philly Painting critique | Mobilizing against Church of the Assumption demo | North Central gets parking minimums | RBA to design Spring Garden Connector | City seed savers

Good morning, Streeters.  Here’s your Friday am Buzz:

Dutch artists Haas & Hahn have finished painting a nearly-contiguous, color-block mural across two blocks of buildings on Germantown Avenue. Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron appreciates the energetic, colorful composition of Philly Painting but she’s not buying the big talk of corridor transformation. In her column today, Saffon writes: “It’s naive to think that painting over this depopulated blightscape can do anything more than mask the avenue’s failure. It’s a feel-good strategy being passed off as an economic development one.”

Can public pressure halt demolition of Church of the Assumption? Hidden City Daily’s Nathaniel Poplin calls for a political solution now that the structures intended to protect this important historic building have failed. The question is, will developer John Wei be receptive to public outcry or will we see wrecking crews outside Assumption at dawn on Tuesday?

Despite protest from developers and design advocates, City Council unanimously adopted a minimum parking requirements for new residential development in a wide swath of North Central Philadelphia, reports PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey. In the area between Girard and Lehigh avenues, 9th to 10th streets, developers will have to include three parking spaces for every 10 units. City Council President Darrell Clarke had originally had Councilman Brian O’Neill introduce legislation that would have forced this requirement for RM-1 zones across the city, but revised the bill. It is the first overlay to modify the new zoning code.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has hired the RBA Group to design the Spring Garden Connector, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. The Spring Garden Connector is intended to provide a better link between Northern Liberties and the someday-to-be-redeveloped Festival Pier site on the water. “In the case of Race Street, Columbia Avenue and Spring Garden, a highway overpass creates a dark and intimidating passage. But no previous example compares to the scope of Spring Garden. The street is much wider, as is the overpass.” RBA is the firm that designed the Penn Street Trail, running north from Spring Garden Street, as well as the design standards for the entire Central Delaware Trail.

The Philadelphia Seed Exchange is a small, local effort to save and exchange seeds from plants that are well-suited for our climate, protect bio-diversity, and shift gardener’s towards a less disposable models of growing. The Inquirer visits with the founders of the Philadelphia Seed Exchange to learn more about seed saving and the thinking behind the exchange.


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


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