Thursday, February 25, 2010

Race Street Pier - Walk There

Field Operations and James Corner, who designed New York's High Line, have released the initial rendering for the redevelopment of the Race Street Pier on the Delaware River, just below the Ben Franklin Bridge. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is working with a $5M budget to reconfigure the 109 year old pier into a recreation attraction. The biggest complaint from the Negadelphians so far? You guessed it. Parking. Here's my advice, check out one of the literally ten surface parking lots in the vicinity, or better yet, walk. There's something about driving to an urban park that's akin to using a wheelchair for fun. For real, people, come on. We are the fattest, ugliest, most unhealthy, and most depressed city in America for a reason. It's no coincidence that so many of you adamantly refuse to walk a block.

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Casinos?

As more and more casinos open up across the Northeast, professional protesters will soon recognize the fact that they have bitten themselves in the ass by petitioning a distance between one casino to another. What could have been a clump of casinos in a gaming district destination attraction competing with each other in aesthetics, entertainment, and accommodations is slowly becoming a state filled with townships known exclusively for their one underwhelming and unattractive slot barn.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Park Tower

The once-proposed Park Tower by Skidmore Owings and Merrill would have occupied the new site of the Family Court Building, gracefully mirroring the adjacent Phoenix while an adjoining tower would have added height to this unusual little corner of Center City.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Family Court Building

At first glance I didn't think this building was so bad. Wedged between two avant garde mid-century mid-rises and the sexy Art Deco Metropolitan, it might be nice to have something subtle and bland bridging the gap and replacing a surface lot. Then I saw the price tag. $200 million. Who approves these numbers and how do they get so high? Unions, or just an inept administration bent on burning through as much money as possible. In any other city this building would cost less than $100 million. What makes it even worse is the architect, John W. Chase of EwingCole, basically apologizing for the sub-par design, saying it is good enough given the circumstances. If you're going to blame the economy for bad architecture, it should be priced appropriately. I know the $200 million covers more than the blueprints, but considering that is a large chunk of what the Comcast Center and the Convention Center expansion cost, there is room in that price for a better looking building.