Monday, April 13, 2015

Hope for the Divine Lorraine...again

Local developers aren't really living up to their 2005 heyday as of late. Considering Philadelphia isn't just experiencing a massive building boom, but America is also having a love affair with us, it's baffling that Eric Blumenfeld and Bart Blatstein have been resting on their assets for so long.

With the exception of Carl Dranoff and Liberty Property Trust, a lot of Philadelphia's construction is taking place thanks to developers from elsewhere. It makes more sense, then, that Eric Blumenfeld's Divine Lorraine might finally happen. I've said that before. Who hasn't? But Blumenfeld's Divine Lorraine is being bankrolled by a developer versed in Manhattan-ease who just so happens to love the Divine Ms. L more than a kid at his first Chuck-e-Cheese birthday party. reported that Billy Procida - a developer who's no stranger to terraforming urban neighborhoods - recently conducted a tour of this inexplicably blighted corridor.

We all want you back in our lives.
The Divine Lorraine, or the Lorraine Hotel designed by Willis G. Hale, spent most of its life 
as part of the International Peace Movement Mission, a cult presided over by Father Divine, a man whose follows regarded as God. The movement still exists with Mother Divine at the helm, but with dwindling numbers due to its rule, "no undue mixing of the sexes" (i.e. no sex), its larger Center City properties were sold off in the early 2000s. 

Since then, the Divine Lorraine has changed hands a number of times with even more speculation. Now, with development moving north from Spring Garden and south from Temple, and approaching the hotel along Ridge Avenue, the building may finally be resurrected. We hope.

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