Stuff Will Happen
SOUTH STREET BRIDGE: Meanwhile, on Philadelphia's other waterfront, there are rumors that the South Street Bridge reconstruction project is imminent. The city Streets Department will hold an informational meeting TONIGHT at 7 p.m. in Greater St. Matthew Fellowship Hall, Grays Ferry Ave. and Fitzwater Street, to talk about the state of the bridge, pictured above. Would you believe that I reviewed the design in October of 2001, when it last looked like the project was on the verge of reality? The new bridge could be a great pedestrian connector between Center City and Penn's territory, not to mention, a great work of civic architecture. But, since PennDot is involved, Philadelphia will be lucky if it's a prettier, and less dangerous, version of the Walnut Street Bridge. The bike shop owner and cycling advocate Michael McGettigan, who lives about as close as anyone can get to the bridge (except for those who actually live on the bridge), worries,"it will be great to drive across really fast" - only to find yourself facing a "merge or die" situation on the Schuylkill Expressway.
CENTER CITY PLANNING: Meanwhile on Wednesday night, Jan. 10, the Center City Residents Association will unveil its long-awaited master plan for its quadrant of Center City. The plan, which should contain plenty of progressive ideas that could influence other neighborhoods, represents the triumph of citizen action over City Hall inertia. The presentation starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut Street.
DURHAM SCHOOL: The CCRA was one of the enlightened groups that supported the sale of the Durham School to the Independence Charter School. But now, sadly, it looks like the ICS is getting cold feet. Fearful that renovation costs could escalate, the school's board will vote to reconsider the purchase of the old school building at 16th and Lombard Streets. That's bad news for the school's kids, bad news for the neighborhood and bad for the School Reform Commission, which went out on a limb to support the ICS purchase. Stay tuned for an update later this week.
PHILLY'S BEER LEGACY: The city of rowhouses was also once a city of brewhouses. (the photo on the left is the former Bergdoll Brewery on 29th Street in Brewerytown). On Saturday, Jan. 20, brewhouse historian Rich Wagner will present a free public lecture entitled "The Breweries of Kensington, Frankford and Bridesburg" at Yards Brewing Co., 2439 Ambler Street.