Thursday, March 06, 2008

Say Something About SS Bridge

No, the new South Street Bridge doesn't have to look like this - not if Philadelphians put pressure on city and PennDot officials to redesign the passage. Residents will get their chance to do just that starting tonight.
The South Street Bridge Coalition is holding a public design charrette at 6:30 p.m. at the Philadelphia School, 2501 Lombard Street, to outline the aesthetic and urban objectives for the new bridge. Then on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., there will be a full-scale re-visioning of the bridge design. Wallace Roberts & Todd, the architecture and planning firm that played a big role in the PennPraxis waterfront study, will guide the discussion.
Even if the one-day event does yield useful design ideas, the public shouldn't expect miracles. Unfortunately, many of the most important aspects of this bridge were set by engineers years ago, with little input from city planners or residents. I've chronicled the process and its failings in columns over the years from 2001, 2007 , 2008 and in an August blog post.


Anonymous Howard B Haas said...

Thank you Inga for working so hard on this issue. I like the current bridge. If it must be replaced, Philadelphia needs an excellent new bridge, and this is also the opportunity to get a visual stunner!

4:25 PM  
Blogger jakdracula said...

The South Street Bridge should be a beautiful bridge, and safe for pedestrians... not this nondescript overpass looking thing.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm flabbergasted that the city doesn't realize that an eye-catching bridge that connects the CC with Univ. City is a top priority, right up there with casinos. Can this design reflect that we are in a city, where the Schuylkill River Trail and other points provide indigents who can camp out in the bizarre "towers?" Why have "towers" at all? It's not a drawbridge. Can't form follow function? Look at some of the amazing bridges in Austria, London, and elsewhere, where costs were also a concern, but the cities and states realized that you have one university and one main part of town, and when you connect them, it's one of the most significant things you can do to grow a healthy and stable region. Nutter needs to weigh in, as well as Amy Gutman (UPenn CEO) to get this RIGHT.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Degenerate said...

Philadelphia has come a long way in the last decade or so, and Mayor Nutter is promising to usher in a new era in Philly... This bridge should be used as a symbol of the New Philadelphia that is emerging. A show piece to the world that we have arrived... a show piece to the city that this new mayor is serious about his New Day...

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Scott B said...

Take the boat ride from Bartram's Garden up the river and under the bridges of the Schuylkill River and it will change the way you think about bridges. Ever taken the boat ride around Paris? Hmm. Well, if a few more designers started using their eyes, opening their hearts, and maybe walking over a bridge things would be very different!
Scott B

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the 3-8-08 South Street Bridge design charrette. I assume that good architectural design and implementation is founded in "form follows function". There were some very good ideas put forth, but still a lot of whining about what might have been. In these $$$ municipal budget challenged times, why isn't a basic, functional bridge adequate?. This is Philadelphia and it's only a bridge.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this bridge is the New Hotness!!! Not the "same ole' same ole'."

1:45 PM  

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