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You are viewing 312 articles by the author Jake Blumgart

    • Jewelers' Row, September 2016

Historic preservation task force notes other cities' policies as it charts its own course

Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Task Force released a white paper Thursday detailing policies that other major American cities have adopted to protect notable aspects of their built environments. The report shows that…

    • Society Hill

A master plan for Society Hill proposes new design guidelines -- and downzoning

The Society Hill Civic Association has presented a new master plan to the city’s Planning Commission, a proposal encompassing both an innovative way to manage the open space that laces throughout…

    • A view under the El at 52nd Street in West Philadelphia.

Bold strokes in W. Philly Promise Zone housing plan, but no funding punch to back it up

What good are big plans without any funding? That’s the question the city Planning Commission grappled with Tuesday, when confronted with a comprehensive housing strategy for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.…

    • 137-45 Berkley St., the proposed site of a barbecue restaurant

With Wayne Junction's historic district come questions: Some old, some new

For the better part of a century, Wayne Junction was home to dozens of factories and mills. Most of that manufacturing is gone today, and the Philadelphia Historical Commission has just…

    • Sansom and Juniper streets on July 3, after the water main broke

Why does it take so long to upgrade Philly’s water infrastructure? Here's an explanation

When a broken water main sent 15 million gallons surging into Center City streets, public attention was riveted by scenes of pedestrians sloshing along and a cave-in that threatened to swallow…

    • rittenhouse square goat

Today: One bronze goat statue at Rittenhouse Square. Come autumn: Two

Rittenhouse Square’s goat population is about to double. “Billy,” the small, cast-bronze beast that has been a fixture there for more than a century, is immensely popular among pint-size denizens of…

    • A rendering of a bus shelter at 10th and Chestnut streets with a restored art panel installed.

Stained-glass panels to get a second life at Chestnut Street bus shelters

At the beginning of 2017, the Philadelphia Art Commission slammed the brakes on a plan to scrap Pablo Tauler’s stained-glass Chestnut Street bus shelters as part of the proposed installation of…

    • The structure at 2621 N. Jefferson St. in Brewerytown, as it appeared after the June collapse.

Fatal Brewerytown building collapse was `a tragic workplace accident,' L&I commissioner says

Five weeks after the Brewerytown building collapse that killed 59-year-old contractor Harvey Figgs, the city Department of Licenses and Inspections has found no violation of Philadelphia’s safety or demolition regulations on…

    • A rowhouse demolition. | Phillytrax, EOTS Flickr Group

Efforts to tear down `imminently dangerous' buildings get a $2m budget lift

In the recently approved city budget, Mayor Jim Kenney secured $2 million to accelerate demolition of vacant buildings the Department of Licenses and Inspections considers dangerous. Philadelphia suffers persistent problems with…

    • A view of St. Laurentius from Palmer Cemetery in 2015 | Michael Klusek, EOTS Flickr Group

St. Laurentius still stands in Fishtown, though more precariously

Fishtown’s St. Laurentius has seen better days. The 130-year-old-plus former Catholic Church is surrounded by a scraggly fence. Scaffolding wraps around its base, and black strips of netting covers stretches of…

    • The City Council's chambers.

A retrospective: What passed muster with City Council, and what didn't

It’s easy to keep track of big-ticket items -- like the capital budget or this year’s construction tax -- during the course of a City Council session, but many legislative matters…

    • A large crane looms over Chestnut Street.

Construction tax's fate uncertain as City Council wraps up for summer

The fate of a proposed 1 percent construction tax for Philadelphia remained up in the air Thursday, during the last City Council session before the summer recess. The bill squeezed past…

    • under the el, 1330 North Front Street, which is an address listed in the new KOZ bill

81 new tax-free sites OK'd by City Council committee

City Council’s Finance Committee has quickly and quietly approved a bill that would create 81 separately listed, tax-free Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZs), many of them covering multiple parcels, spanning a total…

    • Cars and bikes compete on many Philadelphia streets despite bike lanes.

Vision Zero panel hears stark stories of traffic-safety horror

Tales of horror and tragedy, of loved ones lost or grievously wounded by automobiles, rolled out in waves before a handful of City Council members. At Tuesday’s hearing on Philadelphia’s Vision…

    • A rendering of the $25 million Philadelphia Youth Basketball complex proposed for 36 acres of the Logan Triangle in North Philadelphia.

First step in plan to redevelop Logan Triangle: A $25m basketball complex

Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority has begun the process of transferring the southwest corner of the infamous Logan Triangle into private hands, a long-awaited step forward. The 36 acres in North Philadelphia west…

    • 'Philadelphia Delivers' submission to Amazon HQ2 RFP. Credit: DAG.

Big bits of unfinished business get little adjustments by City Council

At its second-to-last meeting before the summer recess, City Council made minor amendments only to its budget proposal and to construction-tax legislation, two of the biggest pieces of unfinished business on…

    • Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, whose parking bill was delayed in the Rules Committee

RCO insurance measure moves to next Council step; parking minimums hold

The array of controversial measures City Council will be considering before its summer recess has narrowed.  Legislation boosting mandatory parking minimums was held in the Rules Committee on Tuesday, marking the…

    • The Realtors association's mailer opposing Mayor Kenney's budget proposal.

Realtors association mailer attacks Kenney's budget plan

The Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors is coming out hard against Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget proposal, which seeks to raise $770 million over five years to boost funding to the city’s…

    • The illegal boarding house at 1855 N 21 St., site of a deadly March fire.

Small post-fire rooming-house reforms advance in City Council

Since the rooming-house fire that killed four people in March, Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has been pushing for legislative reforms to change how the city regulates group living facilities.…

    • The City Council's chambers.

Numbers, criticism fly at a pair of contentious city budget briefings

Philadelphia's budget battle continued to rage Thursday, as City Council rolled out an audit of the Office of Property Assessment and the Kenney administration questioned the legislative body’s proposed alternative to…

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