Friday, July 26, 2013

Changes for the Schuylkill

Carl Dranoff is eyeing a property adjacent to his own for a 21 story high rise set on the Schuylkill Banks at 25th and Locust. While the preliminary rendering is little more than massing, some have already challenged the location as the worthy site for a high rise.

Here's why it's great. The Schuylkill River Trail, particularly the Schuylkill Banks, has become wildly successful. After a decade in the making, countless grants, donations, and volunteers have finally managed to bring people to the waterfront, offering their bikes and legs a quick route to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boat House Row, and beyond.

Why limit that to the few who already live there, and those who drive there?

Those criticizing the prospect of a new high rise on the river claim that it will disturb the setting, a setting that lies on the CSX rail line and is shadowed by 2100 Chestnut and the PECO tower. It's Center City. It's wear high rises belong. Those who adore the Schuylkill Banks stare up I awe at our skyline and enjoy the grit and relationship between the city and our river. Those seeking reprieve need only walk north, or soon, south.

Cities as environmentally integrated as Portland and Vancouver, BC have already lined there waterfront with slender, sleek high rises offering more urban residents a slice of the water and view. It's where we should build tall buildings.

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