Smart card timeline | LeBrun church demo | upscale on 52nd St | inside Hotel Monaco | Parkwood dissed by O’Neill

SEPTA’s conversion to smart cards is creeping forward, and over the next year riders may notice work on companion projects – modifying elevators, turnstiles, bus boxes, and control centers – and select groups of commuters testing the new payment technology, reports the Inquirer. “By January 2014, all 386 new turnstiles and 121 handicapped-accessible fare gates are to be in place in subway stations and 1,852 fare boxes are to be in buses and trolleys. By the next month, the current tokens and passes will be a thing of the past.” The railroad system won’t be fully operational until November 2014.

Napoleon LeBrun’s Church of the Nativity at 11th and Mt. Vernon streets is being demolished, reports Hidden City Daily. “[Anthony Randazzo of Keystone Custom Builders] said that although both buildings appeared to be in good condition, structural issues with the church building made restoration too expensive.” The church was most recently used as the Ruffin Nichols Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church. Last month we mentioned that Naked Philly spotted the demo, but was unsure if there had also been a partial collapse.

One homegrown entrepreneur is upping 52nd Street’s game with an upscale salon, creperie and espresso bar, and a pet shop on the way. Next American City catches up with Mahari Bailey to talk about his ideas for the depleted commercial district, as well as his competition.

Curbed checks in to Hotel Monaco, Kimpton’s hotel conversion of the Lafayette Building at 5th and Chestnut, and finds a very playful, plush space. Be sure to click through Laura Kicey’s photos to see the wildly fun interiors. Bonus fun fact: It’s got “tall” rooms, and they’re planning to market it to NBA teams. Hello, Monaco!

Parkwood residents feel disrespected by Councilman Brian O’Neill after 6 acres of woods bulldozed this summer to create a 3.5-acre meadow and 2.5 acre parking lot for tour buses. Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office repeatedly told concerned neighbors that they knew nothing about the project, but the tour bus company owner had a different story, reports NE Philly/Philadelphia Neighborhoods. David Benedict said he had been working with O’Neill on the project for nine years.


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


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