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    • Virginia S. Kerr creates rowhouses in 1:24 scale. (Virginia S. Kerr/litillby_v )

Meet the architect building tiny rowhouses with sushi mats and old watches

Virginia Kerr always wanted to own a house in Society Hill. A brick rowhouse. She also dreamed of having her paintings exhibited in a gallery.  Now, both those dreams have come…

    • A new bill would legalize accessory dwelling units in historic buildings, like the Benezet Street houses pictured.

Philadelphia moves toward legalizing accessory dwellings in historic buildings

Philadelphia could soon see more 'granny flats" in historic buildings.  A bill allowing these “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs) on historically designated properties won approval Tuesday from the city’s Planning Commission. The…

    • Patty Beach, a worker at the South Philadelphia Refinery, makes her case to save her place of employment. (Brad Larrison for WHYY)

Emotions raw, PES refinery workers fight to keep plant open

Patty Beach’s voice broke as she described the emotional roller of saying goodbye to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery where she spent 21 years working 12 hour days. “This past week…

    • SEPTA general manager Jeffrey Knueppel speaks to conductor Gary Brown in 2017.  (SEPTA)

SEPTA GM Jeff Knueppel to retire in December, PennDOT secretary eyed as replacement

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel will retire on Dec. 31, at the end of his contract with the $2 billion-a-year transit agency, officials confirmed today.  Knueppel met with his immediate staff…

    • septa key

You can finally check SEPTA Key balance, add fare on a smartphone

SEPTA’s Key card conquest continues.  Smartphone-carrying SEPTA riders can now add money to their Key Card on the SEPTA app.  The days of running to make an incoming train only to…

    • 509 Vine Street is converting into a quick-stay hotel.

Tenants forced out of Old City apartments as building changes over to short-term rentals

A residential building at 509 Vine St., known as the Boekel building, is turning into an apartment-style hotel. All units will become short-term rentals — a la Airbnb. And residents are…

    • Chinatown children and elders walk for safe routes to parks and schools during  Chinatown Connections Parade in 2016.
Eyes on the Street

Opinion: Chinatown is building the gathering space the community needs

There is a new high-rise in the Philly skyline. The Crane, a new mixed-use community center, rises dramatically at the end of Chinatown’s commercial corridor, set apart from the characteristic brick…

    • A Google Streetview image of 2601 Poplar St. (Google/WHYY)

108 apartments coming to vacant Poplar St. lot and neighbors aren't happy

The owner of a popular Fairmount cafe and artisanal market has gotten permits to build a 55-foot-tall apartment complex on a vacant Poplar Street lot. The 2601 Poplar Street project will…

    • Diane Southerland and her daughter Terry in their Logan home. (Kim Paynter/WHYY)

‘We’re a city under siege’— 2 shootings in 2 days rattles North Philly neighbors

Five young men were shot in North Philadelphia just one day after a gunman injured six police officers. The two incidents occurred on the same street, just a few miles apart.…

    • Jill Fredricks Brown, aunt of Emily Fredericks, in front of the Philadelphia DA's office

DA Larry Krasner to appeal dismissal of charges against driver who fatally struck Philly cyclist

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office will appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss charges against driver Jorge Fretts for the killing of cyclist Emily Fredricks, the chief of the DA’s homicide unit…

    • solar panel

Pa. grants $2M for solar tech at PGW’s liquefied natural gas plant

Philadelphia Gas Works’ planned liquefied natural gas plant got a $2 million state grant to install solar energy. The plant will be constructed at the utility’s Southwest Philadelphia site.  The $60…

    • Police in North Philadelphia assist the reunification of kids and families after a lock down.
Eyes on the Street

OPINION: A shooting barricaded a Philly neighborhood. Hear from people who experienced it.

Nearly eight hours locked out of your house. A blitz of armed police officers taking over several blocks. No buses. Day care centers on lockdown. Fear and the constant buzz of…

    • Emily Fredricks pictured in front of a flower wall. (Emily Fredricks Foundation)

Philly DA Krasner may appeal dismissal of charges against driver who fatally struck cyclist

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is urging the city’s District Attorney Larry Krasner to appeal a local judge’s dismissal of charges against a trash truck driver who struck and killed…

    •  Edwin Desemour is ever vigilant at Waterloo playground. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Meet the heroes making Philly’s parks safer

Dread fills Edwin Desamour every time he hears about violence breaking out at a city park or playground. This summer, the sensation has overcome the North Philadelphia father a handful of…

    • Solar panels on Philadelphia rowhouses. (Adam Stein for Solar States)

Dreaming about going solar? Now, a city rebate can help

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wants you to put solar panels on your roof. Now.  With less than 0.4% of the city’s energy mix coming from solar power, Kenney needs to pick…

    • A tree down in East Kensington.
Eyes on the Street

OPINION: I love trees, but please don't plant one unless you can take care of it

Sixteen hundred trees make an aesthetic impact on the streets of Kensington, but it’s not just about looks. Education on proper care and continued maintenance of our struggling young trees is…

    • Riders cruise through Brooklyn on Revel mopeds. (Revel)

NYC moped startup Revel is eyeing Philly. My test ride proved how thrilling/scary that would be.

The idea of sharing a helmet with Lord knows how many people in a 22-square-mile area of a densely populated city grosses me out. I’ve seen the bald spots of ringworm…

    • Rowhouses line Spruce Street in Fitler Square. (Emma Lee/ WHYY)

‘Rowhouse’ vs. ‘rowhome’? The tangled history of a uniquely Philadelphia term

Is it “rowhouse” or “row house?” Is it “rowhome” or “row home?”  Nothing gets Philadelphia grammarians riled up more than a question of local dialect. Especially when there is no clear…

    • Construction on the Crane, pictured, is nearly complete. (PCDC/ Rittenhouse Realty Advisors))

Chinatown CDC is marketing the 'hood's tallest tower as a $67 million lux address

The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation is marketing the neighborhood’s largest residential tower for sale.  It took PCDC eight years to complete “The Crane,” a 20-story tower and community center just north…

    • An artist's rendering shows an apartment complex planned for 2157 E. Lehigh Ave. An arrow points to the old Conrail wall neighbors want to see torn down.  (DesignBlendz/B.S.K.M./PlanPhilly.)

Why Kensington wants to tear down a 25-foot-high Lehigh Ave. wall

The latest big housing development to come to East Lehigh Avenue in Kensington is grappling with an unusual problem.  How do you connect an apartment complex to the surrounding neighborhoods when…

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