Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Morning Updates

...Last week's court hearing on the school district sale of the Durham School to Miles & Generalis' development company was postponed - again.

...Our sources tell us that Brown/Hill's 205 Race Street project is going to be picked up by a new developer who will reorganize the interior layouts so the units can be sold at lower prices to a younger demographic.

...The Preservation Alliance has successfully convinced the Historical Commission on Friday to put the Strawbridge & Clothier building by Simon & Simon on the city's historic register. That means that, no matter who the future tenant might be, they won't be able to mess with the exterior. Let's hope they treat the art deco interior just as well.

...Philadelphia University was not so enlightened. University President James P. Gallagher last week made good on his plan to demolish the Queen Anne-style Red Gate mansion, by George T. Pearson. Workers were busy preparing for demolition by carrying out the architectural valuables, like pieces of the oak-paneled parlor. Soon the row of proud mansions along the ridge in East Falls will have another big gap. Pearson designed the house in the 1880s for the railroad magnate F.J. Kimball and it was eventually acquired by the university as a student center. With a modern replacement nearly complete, Gallagher decided in pure developer fashion to raze the old building in the hope of creating a "sales opportunity" for a donor to build something. He should have courted a donor to fix up Red Gate.


Blogger normajean said...

I'm happy to hear that the 205 Race project isn't dead. I just hope that the reconfiguring of the interior doesn't alter the exterior too much - the juxtoposition of the blocks and forms, doable because of the 2-story apartment configuration, was what made the design so interesting.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous HospitalityGirl said...

A big boo hiss to to Philadelphia U. and their unenlightened position. And three cheers to the Preservation Alliance for convincing the Historical Commission to designate the building worthy of preserving. Once in a while they get things right around here!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Phila U grad and an architect, I must state that the student center building was totally beyond repair and had outlived any function of a university in 2006. It was totally underutilized and clearly abused by the students and university for decades. Let it go - and get over it.

You should all be more concerned with the garbage the university's built over the past 5 years. This includes Hillier's horrendous classroom building and now the new student center/parking garage - looks like a BCJ rip-off, and clearly lacking any coherent identity. For a school with an accredited architecture program, I'll be the first to admit embarrassment for PU.

1:05 AM  

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