Protecting Heinz Wildlife Refuge | Museum of the American Revolution: Stern’s design, Lenfest’s grant | Billboard City

Environmental advocates, Delaware Riverkeeper, and Eastwick neighbors are concerned that plans to build 722 rental-housing units in Eastwick will harm the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, which the development borders. PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates explains Korman Residential’s plans and what is at stake for the refuge, which is important habitat for hundreds of species. Advocates and neighbors plan to pack Council hearings today and Wednesday in protest.

Meanwhile he Dirt blog explains how Wildlife Refuges in urban areas increase the value of nearby homes by a greater percentage that just being next to open space.

Robert A.M. Stern’s designs for the Museum of the American Revolution planned for 3rd and Chestnut earns a mixed review from Inga Saffron. Saffron applauds museum’s floor plans, program, and ground-floor interaction with the city around it, but not Stern’s “remedial architectural language” of “Georgian” style. Saffron fears a cheap, ham-fisted approach to the past that neither honors the real historic architecture surrounding the museum, nor the spirit of our revolution itself.

Gerry Lenfest has pledged $40 million to the Museum of the American Revolution as a challenge grant, reports Stephan Salisbury in the Inquirer. If the museum can get $40 million from other donors to match Lenfest’s challenge grant, and use up to $30 million in pledged state funding, construction could begin.

In a two part piece for Metropolis, Ryan Briggs looks at the city’s permissive history of deal-making in favor of outdoor advertising companies and the new zoning code’s sign control weakness: a credit system whereby advertisers removing one billboard in a neighborhood corridor can accumulate extra credits to incentivize its replacement in with a new billboard in a more appropriate location (say, along I-95). Council will begin hearings on the code’s new sign controls today.


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