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Thread: Center City Philly -> Convention Center

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Philadelphia, PA
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    Center City Philly -> Convention Center

    The Pennsylvania Convention Center boxes Chinatown in on the west. As of now it just takes up the blocks between 11th and 12th Streets but plans for expansion are in the works.
    Nothing is final and opposition is growing.


    What made the convention center possible in the first place was the relocation of the Reading Rail lines. They were placed in a four track tunnel running parallel to Market St. and the old viaduct was torn down in this area opening it up for the first time in 140 years. Then they went and walled it off again. Most of the viaduct remains terminating on the northern side of Vine St. here.


    The southern expanse of the convention center sits atop the Reading Terminal Market and IMO is actually pretty nice and for the level of activity it generates any minor mistakes can be forgiven . . . at least here on the 12th Street side.






    Even Ben Franklin shops there. On a serious note, whoever this guy is has to make a serious effort to maintain that girth. He walks everywhere and I’m not sure how many days a week he works but I’ve seen him out and about every day of the week. It must be a good living.


    Looking at it from the 11th St. side is something different entirely

    Convention Center expansion plans have it crossing 12th St. and taking up the blocks between Race and Arch from 12th to Broad St. Where it crosses a numbered street you have an effect like this


    Here it is crossing Arch St.


    When it doesn’t cross the street you get this – death. Of course almost all those windows at street level have adjacent doors for retail establishments there are currently no takers. When the street has concrete hat on it the chances for retail will be even fewer.


    Of course it could be worse, it could look like this . . .


    . . . or this


    Rest assured that this parking lot or garage will never be touched to make way for anything.


    This new hotel across the street will be spared as well.


    Rather, it’s these buildings that will fall to the wrecking ball.


    In their place this . . .


    taking up 3 blocks from 11th to Broad (14th) . . .


    . . . that is supposed to “fit in” with its neighbors on the other side of Arch St.






    of course, the area isn’t all historic buildings. There’s plenty of parking lots as well but why not restore the area to its latter day density and activity. The demand is there. The uncertainty over future plans has dampened development in the immediate area but two blocks to the north people are starting to call the old industrial Callowhill neighborhood “the Loft District.”


    The proximity to downtown is, well, it is downtown. The Mellon Bank building peaking through there is on 18th St. on the western edge of the financial district.


    Liberty Place at 16th & Market


    The Market St. side of the convention center complex is by far the most inviting with the restored Reading Terminal building as the anchor.




    This 80’s POS leaves a bit to be desired.


    Billy Penn must be looking somewhere else because the sun could be setting on this neighborhood for a long time to come.


    The parting shot - what the expansion might look like on Broad looking south towards City Hall.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Why do all convention centers look exactly the same? Shouldn't they be more unique since they are trying to impress visitors? I thought Philly was more on the ball when it came to preservation downtown.


    Off topic: They might not air in Philly but I always see Philly tourism commercials where one guy describes the city as a "baby New York." Kind of a backhanded compliment for a city of over a million people.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Philadelphia, PA
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    Why do all convention centers look exactly the same? Shouldn't they be more unique since they are trying to impress visitors? I thought Philly was more on the ball when it came to preservation downtown.


    Off topic: They might not air in Philly but I always see Philly tourism commercials where one guy describes the city as a "baby New York." Kind of a backhanded compliment for a city of over a million people.
    In a city where you have to travel 2-3 miles out from the center to find a neighborhood less than 100 years old I suppose certain people take that kind of thing for granted. Unfortunately the people running the show are still stuck in the logic of mega-projects like malls and convention centers 40 years after Jacobs said they were dead. Not enough money works its way to the top with infill projects.

    The commercials that air here and in the New York market are pretty much the same. "Philly's more fun when you sleep over" is the tagline that offers a two for one hotel deal. The local commercials feature local celebs walking around town in their pajamas passing destinations familiar to most locals. The New York ads are similar but portray the big city, metropolitan side of Philly.

    New Yorkers love to compare every city to their own but IMO Philly is a lot more like Boston (just without the medieval street pattern) . . . but i guess you can't sell another Boston to people from there.

    Soutwest Airlines, on the other hand, has commercials in Philly offering flights to Boston starting at $29 and has people listening to language tapes and repeating the phrases "da kawnsuht was wicked hahdkaw" and "dawluh . . . tawnic . . . i need a dawluh furah tawnic"
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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