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    • The new play space inside Whitman library in South Philadelphia. (Avi Wolfman-Arent/WHYY)

Shh! This is a… jungle gym? Philly libraries remade for play

Seven-year-old Olivia Kinkel and her family visit the Whitman library in South Philadelphia a couple of times a week, enough to feed Olivia’s appetite for “chapter books.” She already likes the…

    • 702 Sansom rendering, from NE | January 2018
Eyes on the Street

Why is Toll Bros. designing a "background" building for an iconic Philly neighborhood?

By Ashley Hahn After a couple of false starts, Toll Bros. is advancing a scaled-back proposal for a condo building, replacing five buildings at the edge of Jewelers’ Row. Toll unveiled…

    • U.S. embassy in London designed by KieranTimberlake. Credit: Richard Bryant/Dezeen

Philadelphia-based Kieran Timberlake's "bad deal" embassy opens today in London

The U.S. embassy in London designed by Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake and disparaged by President Donald Trump as a “bad deal,” opens today, CNN reports. The firm, best known locally for…

    • A packed room at Pipeline Philly listens as Witty Gritty's/Urban Consulate's Michelle Freeman kicks off the discussion
Eyes on the Street

Design professionals discuss how to make room for all races in Philly public spaces

Sitting in front of a crowd of over one hundred, Tya Winn asked a row of audience members to stand. “There are about 25 of you standing,” the president of Philadelphia’s…

    • City Council chambers.

Council advances bills on truck cranes, vinyl siding, stop-n-go stores, and SLAPP suits

On Thursday, City Council largely concerned itself with Mayor Jim Kenney’s push to reassert local control over Philadelphia’s school system. But a handful of City Council members also introduced bills that…

    • Aerial view of 60 N. 23rd Street from 23rd & Arch Street

Developer of 23rd and Arch site asked to give double tower proposal a second look

PMC’s Property Group’s new mega-apartment project drew acrimony from the Civic Design Review (CDR) Tuesday, as the developer’s plans for a skybridge and an enormous parking garage proved unpopular. The committee…

    • Brian McIntire evaluates the new user interfaces of the SEPTA Key Fare Kiosk (Kim Paynter/WHYYY)

After hundreds accidentally get multiple Key cards, SEPTA takes a step to fix confusing kiosks

SEPTA is taking a tentative step towards improving the user interfaces on its new fare card kiosks, piloting a new set of screens at its headquarters. If the user experience (UX)…

    • The community center in a planned Philadelphia Housing Authority project

Civic Design Review Meeting Offers Hesitant Praise to Proposed Developments.

The Civic Design Review Committee's (CDR) August session granted approval with numerous suggestions. While both were met with general praise from the staffers, there was also a consensus that each would…

    • Rendering of Wolff Court courtesy of Harman Deutsch Architecture

Short Civic Design Review meeting hints at cooling large development market

July’s Civic Design Review (CDR) meeting proved one of the shortest in the history of the five-year-old process. With only one item on the agenda, an inoffensive mid-rise apartment building in…

    • 31st and Market SEPTA elevator rendering, March 2017 Art Commission

New elevators for SEPTA's 30th Street trolley and El station

Big changes are coming to 30th Street Station. The ambitious Schuylkill Yards project will transform the area, and SEPTA has plans to refurbish one of its busiest stations in tandem with…

    • Natalie Nixon | Emma Lee / WHYY

Speaking for the public: Natalie Nixon's emerging voice on the Art Commission

At an Art Commission meeting last November, the assembled appointees were considering a school district proposal to expand the overburdened Mayfair Elementary school in the lower Northeast. There are 1,400…

    • Reed Estates: looking east on Reed | JKRP Architects, January '17 CDR

Mixed design review for projects in Brewerytown, Pennsport, Roxborough, South Kensington, and Logan Square

January’s Civic Design Review kicked off 2017 with a bang. During the course of the almost three-and-a-half-hour meeting, the experts on the panel tried to shame a developer into building a…

    • Penn Medicine new patient pavilion - from 34th St, Foster + Partners, HDR | CDR Nov 2016

St. Rita Place & Cascia Center, Foster + Partners' new Penn hospital building pass design review

Tuesday afternoon’s Civic Design Review (CDR) meeting was the last in 2016, ending a banner year where the board considered the merits of 45 projects. This record-setting total speaks to the…

    • Lincoln Square: Lincoln Walk and Broad Street Plaza | BLTArchitects, Nov. 2016 CDR presentation

Design Committee supports Lincoln Square, new Aramark, Lancaster Mews developments

Tuesday afternoon’s Civic Design Review (CDR) meeting pushed the total count of projects covered this year to 41, a record for the still young process—and a testament to the acceleration of…

    • 21st Century Rowhouse - Brewerytown: Flexible House - by Uk Jung
Eyes on the Street

What should a 21st century Philly rowhouse be? Emerging designers answer

Last Thursday PlanPhilly and the Design Advocacy Group presented our take on this year’s DesignPhiladelphia theme – Home – with an event focused on Philly’s most common house type, the rowhouse.…

    • Illustration of 'Diligence' by Ben Volta, in remodeled main room of the Tacony Library

'Diligence' coming to Tacony Library as part of 21st Century Libraries Initiative

Five Philadelphia libraries are being overhauled thanks to a $25 million grant from the William Penn Foundation, and one bit of icing on the 21st Century Libraries Initiative cake is a…

    • Best Overall: Winner - Neighborhood Potters (after) | courtesy of Community Design Collaborative
Eyes on the Street

2016 Storefront Design Challenge honors

When a business owner invests in new awnings or distinctive signage, fresh paint or new lighting, she’s telegraphing community pride, expressing her business’ identity, and offering a vote of confidence in…

    • PHA Headquarters: North Plaza perspective | BLTa, CDR presentation, Sept. 2016

Design Committee asks PHA to improve design for new headquarters but supports Cobbs Creek, East Market, and Winchester Park projects

The controversies surrounding the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) ambitious plans for the Sharswood neighborhood repeatedly interrupted Tuesday afternoon’s Civic Design Review Committee review of the agency’s plans to build itself a…

    • USciences residence hall courtyard facing woodland | August 2016 CDR | Design Collective

Woods Square and new buildings at Penn and USciences pass design review

August doldrums didn’t stop the Civic Design Review (CDR) board from grilling a return applicant on Tuesday. Although only four of seven members were in attendance — chair Nancy Rogo Trainer,…

    • 1722 Pine Street
Eyes on the Street

Radical retrofit on Pine Street aims to blend passive house with preservation

The four-story brick rowhouse at 1722 Pine Street sits mid-block on the south side of Pine. It shares a cornice line with its neighbors and dates from the mid-19th century. Long…

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