Remaking the Dilworth House - Once More, with Feeling
The farce called "reimagining the Dilworth House" returns to the Philadelphia Historical Commission tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Developer John Turchi, uber-lawyer Neil Sklaroff and architect Robert Venturi will explain to the architectural subcommittee why they should be allowed to turn a 1960's replica of a colonial house on Washington Square into an architectural cartoon - by incorporating the facade into a proposed high-rise condo tower. Despite being an unabashed fake, the house is important because former Mayor Richardson Dilworth had it built to demonstrate his committment to turning a decaying slum called Society Hill into a middle-class neighborhood.
Turchi, et al, have been trying to tear Dilworth's house down so they can build a 13-story luxury condo building. When that plan ran into trouble, they began proposing variations on the theme. If the facadectomy approach doesn't fly, they might settle for using the whole house as the lobby for a condo tower. If you don't like that idea... well, they probably have a few more up their sleeves.
The committee meets in a small, stuffy room on the fifth floor of City Hall, room 578.