Point Breeze Performing Arts Center

The Current center located at 1717 Point Breeze Avenue, is raising funds to built a new $14 million state-of-the-art performance art training center and professional- quality theater on Point Breexe Avenue in South Philadelphia to bring the "transformative power" of the arts to a larger audience.

Located in the heart of South Philadelphia, The Point Breeze Performing Arts Center utilizes the arts as an Instrument to initiate social action that will cultivate talent and revitalize the community.  In an effort to meet the growing needs of the community it serves, PBPAC is constructing a new performing arts center. The project will be pivotal to the redevelopment plan for this neighborhood.

Designed by Blackney Hayes Architects, the project, currently in design phase and envisioned to be 42,000 square feet, will include a 250 seat theatre, dance instruction and practice studios, as well as classrooms for arts and crafts and video production.  PBPAC is projecting an addition to the building as a future expansion.  A restaurant, parking facility and student housing are included in future phases.

The Pincus Project at 4th and Race

As mentioned a few months back, a future development has been in the works for a hotel/residential project with a very large restaurant proposed at the existing site of an abandoned warehouse on race street between 5th and 4th streets.

Renderings have been found from Blackney Hayes Architects portraying an incorporated adaptive reuse of the existing 3-story brick building into ground floor retail with parking and residential units above, a 7-story overbuild to create a 200- room hotel, and a new 150- unit residential building.

In addition to successfully integrating the new construction with the existing building, BHA took the approach of maximizing views toward Independence Mall, rotating the overbuilt mass 45 degrees to the south and creating an outdoor roof terrace above the existing 3-story building.  A dynamic elevator tower element and textural treatment of the walls through panelized construction create an iconic focal point at the northeast corner of the mall.

Lenfest Plaza

In an effort to increase identity along Broad Street, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts invited OLIN Studios to conceptualize opportunities for their streetscape, and to create an urban landscape capable of being rendered with limited resources.  OLIN combined existing elements with simple, powerful design gestures to create a unique and creatively affordable identity for the institution.  The names of notable graduates and artistic action verbs are sandblasted into existing precast concrete pavers.  Small LED lights set within the paving modify and enhance the nighttime streetscape experience.  Large seasonal banners created by students are anchored on light poles along the length of the academic buildings on both side of Broad Street.  And glowing planters set with whimsical topiaries identify the Hamilton Building as the Academy's nexus for creative thinking.

The public art contribution to the Lenfest Square promenade will be a towering 53-foot high sculpture of a paintbrush with illuminated bristles, created by world renowned American artist Claes Oldenburg, making its home at the start of Philadelphia's expanding "Museum Mile".  The monumental sculpture, titled Paint Torch, will be installed at an incredible 60-degree angle, as if in the act of painting.  A 6-foot high globe of paint will appear beside it on the ground illuminated as well at night.

There will also be outdoor seating, a stage, and an upscale restaurant in this 24-hour pedestrian plaza which links PAFA's two buildings across from the expanded Convention Center.

PAFA will hold an official opening party for the new plaza and a lighting ceremony for the Paint Torch on October 1, 2011, featuring activities and entertainment for all ages.


Tacony Waterfront May Get a New Science Charter School

The industrial and vacant parcels along the Tacony waterfront may soon welcome a new science based K-12 Charter School as their new neighbor.  Tacony Academy Charter is one step closer to its planned 130,000- square foot school for 1,075 students designed by KCBA Architects, at this weeks Philadelphia City Planning Comission Meeting, reported by PlannPhilly.com.  There, commissioners approved an amendment to the master plan for the 12.7 acre Waterfront Redevelopment District at Princeton, Milner and Delaware Avenue, allowing a school to be built within it.  The site however not on the waterfront, backs up on the boat and fish commission boat launch.  The amendment still needs approval of city council, which is on summer recess.

In addition to classrooms, the proposed school would have science labs, a gym, a cafeteria and library.  There would be athletic fields and green space on the outside.  There would be parking fmor 175 cars, and separate bus and car drop-off areas.  A portion of the building will showcase a green roof.  The school would serve children from the densely populated Tacony community.  Sponsors say the location close to the water allows all kinds of exploration opportunities for the students.  The green space would provide an excellent place to play for students from a congested neighborhood. Some commissioners feel that the school will pair well with the riverfront trail constructed by the Delaware River Corporation and others also feel that the school might trigger residential development near by.


Progress at 2200 N. Sydenham

2200 N. Sydenham is on the home stretch to completion, just in time for the 2011 Fall Semester at Temple University.  Windows are set in place, exterior stucco has been applied, and final exterior finishes are currently being installed on the extruding bays.  The developer chose a muted pallet nudes, yellow and red, which will blend in well with the surrounding traditional  red brick.  Take a look at the progress bellow!

Final Rendering


10 Trendy Philly Hoods to Live In

Out of PhillyMag's 10 Awesome Neighborhoods to call home, 4 were actually in Philadelphia.  Certainly there should have been more, but with crime still an overall issue in the city's transitional neighborhoods, compared to more stable suburban counterparts, the "burbs" took the cake on this one.  The neighborhoods that made the list were; Fairmount, Manayunk, Powelton Village, and Graduate Hospital.  All four neighborhoods are close to Center City with Fairmount and Graduate Hospital at walking distance.  They also either contain entertainment corridors, are close them, or are developing their own. The beauty of Philadelphia is that with most of its neighborhoods in core sections of the city, you are not far from neighborhood parks and Larger sections of the Fairmount Park System.

Northern Liberties
East Passyunk

Neighborhoods that didn't make the list are the "streetcar suburbs",Clark and Cedar Park of West Philadelphia; South Philadelphia's East Passyunk Ave, South of South, and Italian Market neighborhoods; and North Philadelphia's Northern Liberties, Fishtown, and East Kensington neighborhoods.  These are all great neighborhoods in transition even though they can use a healthy increase of basic amenities as some may already have, like increased police presence and side walk lighting and tree-scaping , sufficient grocers, and neighborhood stabilization programs to keep healthy community oriented, middle and lower class residents in the neighborhoods.
Italian Market


Cedar Park

Clark Park


Penn Park; An Urban Oasis

The University of Pennsylvania's Penn Park is a project of Penn Connects, a long-range land use and urban design campus plan for the University initiated in conjunction with the goals behind Penn's Climate Action Plan.  The park is located located at 31st Street, between Walnut Street and South Street, and bound by Amtrak, CSX and SEPTA rail lines.

During construction most of its infrastructure remained unnoticed by passers by, but now you can't help but notice the change in texture from raised terrain and lush spread of young trees, some at flood plain levels and others planted 25 feet above flood levels.  Penn Park's architect, Michael Van Valkenburgh, envisioned a traditional, easy to maintain plant system.  The park contains 520 trees and a variety of meadow grasses.  While the plantings are the most notable change at Penn Park, the structural aspects of the project have progressed substantially.  Showing progress are the beginnings of the multi-purpose stadium, the dugouts, and the tennis center, which includes 12 courts, all of which are surrounded by landforms made using Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) instead of concrete, saving $1.8 million on the total project budget.

Park entrances are also well on their way.  The Allee bridge connects the Paley Bridge Extension to the park; the Walnut Street footbridge is a dramatic link to the open space; and two other pedestrian access points connect the park to the rest of the city.  The multi-purpose playing and recreational fields have been paved, electrical lines run for high performance lighting, and the drainage systems installed.

The park will be completed in mid-August and the fields will be open for use, with the addition of a seasonal air structure being installed in November to allow for indoor athletics on one field during winter months.  The Park will be managed by Penn but will function as a public space  The multi-purpose stadium will hold over 400 spectators and the park will have approximately 200 parking spots.  Use of the fields will be scheduled through Penn Athletics or Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services for both formal and informal events.  The size of the two synthetic turf fields can accommodate three games simultaneously.  The open space that makes up roughly half of the park space will be open to the public.