Family Court Building Pushes On

The new Family Court Building would come as a welcome addition to Philadelphia's government institutions by many who work in and use the facility, but a few sour neighbors think different.  There is always someone to protest progress and change, even if there are no immediate threats to the environment, neighborhood, or patrons themselves.  Some times these concerns consider the rights of neighboring citizens and way of life and at other protecting history and tradition, but in the case of the family court building, it is neither.

The new structure will take the place of a eye souring parking lot at 15th and Arch Streets, which has stood unbuilt for decades, and will only tower 14 stories above street level with 3 levels of underground parking. Sponsors recently approached the Art Commission for a variance that will allow a 15th floor to be added.  The board was met by two protesters from the neighboring art deco Metropolitan apartment building, siting concerns of setback regulations and zoning, stating he had concerns about the new structure interfering with site lines, views and daylighting of his property. The Art Commission has table the discussion for further review.

This said, the Metropolitan should be ecstatic that development is happening across the street.  This section of Center City could really use new development to unify its streets and help define the neighborhood.

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