Monday, November 30, 2009

We Need an Act of God

How is it that in the darkest days of this country's urbanity - roughly the 60's to the 90s, when the highest contributors to the city's tax stock had fled to the suburbs leaving Philadelphia indebted and corrupt - did we manage to maneuver some of the city's largest civic projects: completely reinventing Society Hill and Independence Mall, The Gallery, Market East Station, I-95, the Vine Street Expressway, and about a dozen skyscrapers on West Market Street? For better or worse, these massive projects got off the ground and got built. We bulldozed about 100 blocks of Philadelphia's history between 1960 and 1990 and reworked miles of highway requiring extensive engineering, yet today in order to develop a vacant and undesirable block of Penn's Landing or Market East takes an act of God.

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