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WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
PLANS FOR BOYD THEATRE SITE REJECTED
On Tuesday, the Historical Commission's Architectural Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the Historical Commission that Pearl Properties' plan for 1900-06 and 1910 Chestnut Street [a consolidated parcel that includes the historic Boyd Theatre and Raymond Pace Alexander Building (most recently Qdoba)] be rejected. As reported here previously, the plan presently includes a 27-story residential tower (for 200+ apartments), retail and restaurant spaces, and underground parking, while maintaining some of the structure of the 1920s-era theater.
The plan faced fierce opposition by a coalition of highrise residential towers: 1920 Chestnut, the Rittenhouse Plaza, 10 Rittenhouse, and the William Penn House. Richard Gross, a representative of this coalition (as well as a CCRA Board member), argued that the design does not respect the contextual cues of the environment or follow the applicable federal historic standards. He said the neighboring highrises repeatedly asked the developers to collaborate with, and solicit input from, community members. "We want development on this site, just not this development." Friends of the Boyd, represented by Howard Haas, spoke in opposition to the insertion of new windows in place of the original Art Deco panes and the use of the Sansom Street facing foyer as a loading dock, but generally spoke favorably of the plan. Members of CCRA's Task Force on this project also were in attendance.
After a lively discussion among the Committee members, Chair Dominique Hawkins said that the presentation did not provide a clear picture of the materials that were going to be used or how the tower portion of the project would relate to the base, an assessment that seemed to be universally held by the Committee. The rejected plan now goes to the full Historical Commission, which will consider it at a public meeting on June 12 in Room 18-029, 1515 Arch St. (One Parkway). Commission meetings commence at 9:00 am.
As presently designed, the project does not appear to require any variances from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. However, aside from receiving approval from the Historical Commission, it must be the subject of a Community Meeting (led by CCRA as the coordinating Registered Community Organization). It also must go through Civic Design Review in a public meeting at the Planning Commission, which is only advisory. CDR is scheduled for July 7. Stay tuned for further information and the date, time, and location of the Community Meeting.
STREET SCENE URBAN GARDEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
CCRA's Street Scene urban garden and PHOTOGRAPHY (new this year) returns, bigger and better than ever. Garden entries are due by June 30, and photography entries are due by August 15. The CCRA Street Scene web page and entry forms are live. In addition, each week through October 31, the CCRA e-newsletter will contain a gardening tip to help you plan, plant and maintain your most fantastic Street Scene entry yet!
A big thank you to our sponsors, Reinhold Residential, Pam Rosser Thistle, REALTOR, and Friends in the City.
STREET SCENE TIP - PETUNIAS
Create a "wow" look in your window boxes with petunias. Double petunias have even fluffier blossoms that create a lot more interest than their more traditional single blossom cousins. Either way, petunias take a little work to keep them from getting leggy or long-stemmed throughout the summer. Pinch back each stem to about four inches after the first bloom. (Don't worry; in a couple of weeks you'll have plenty of blossoms again.) This will encourage branching and keep them from looking long and straggly by the end of the summer. Also, snipping off the pods after the flower bloom will give you more flowers. Give your petunias an early summer and mid-season dose of fertilizer for blooming plants, higher in phosphorus than nitrogen.
In the last few years, there have been some new offerings in the world of petunias. The new Wave series petunias are incredibly popular and easy to care for. They are loaded with bright blooms, smaller than most other petunia varieties. Varieties of Wave include: Rose Wave, Misty Lilac Wave, Pink Wave and Purple Wave. Calibrachoas or 'Million Bells' are close cousins to the petunia. With smaller blossoms than the petunia, Calibrachoa is also a wonderful choice for summer hanging pots, containers and window boxes. They come in many brilliant colors. Good news for busy window box gardeners: deadheading, or pinching off spent blooms is not as important with the Wave series petunias or Calibrachoas. They'll keep blooming like mad whether you remove the spent blossoms or not.
CCRA MERCHANT MEMBERS DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Support our local merchants and save money too. These local merchants will provide a discount (described here) to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card (Di Bruno Bros. has its own CCRA card) and personal identification.
Uber - Limo service Uber provides $20 off a first ride, Good for new users only. Members use code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
PHS POP-UP BEER GARDEN RETURNS TO 15TH & SOUTH
On Sunday, 5/30, PHS will re-open its pop-up beer garden, so successful last year, at 15 th and South Streets. This year's space is being promoted as having a new design and a "Bohemian flair." Click South Street for hours and special events.
COMMEMORATION OF SALVATION ARMY BUILDING COLLAPSE, FRI, 6/5, 10:00 AM, 22ND & MARKET STS.
June 5 is the 2nd anniversary of the collapse of the Salvation Army building at 22 nd and Market. Victim's family members will participate in a ceremony focused on development of the "June 5 Memorial Park" with a replica memorial sculpture. Mayor Nutter, the sculpture's artist, and others will address the audience and describe plans for the park that will be built on the site. 22nd Street, between Chestnut and Market, will be closed from 9:30 to 11:00 for the event. All are welcome to attend, hear about the latest plans, and show their support for the effort.
RITTENHOUSE SQUARE FINE ARTS SHOW, FRI & SAT, 6/5 AND 6/6, 11AM - 7 PM, AND SUN, 6/7, 11 AM - 5 PM
Walk around Rittenhouse Square and view paintings and sculptures by local artists. For more information, click here.
GREENFIELD SCHOOL PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE, SAT, 6/6, 10 AM - 12 PM, 22ND & SANSOM ST
Parents of newborns to 5 yr. olds (and prospective parents) are invited to a playdate at the Greenfield School playground Sat, 6/6, 10 AM - to Noon, 22nd & Sansom. Meet parents of Greenfield students and parents of potential Greenfielders to learn about the School and meet your neighbors! The Greenfield catchment area is from the north side of Bainbridge to the south side of the Ben Franklin Parkway, Broad Street to the Schuylkill River.
BLOOMSDAY: A DAY-LONG READING FROM JAMES JOYCE'S ULYESSES, TUE, 6/16, 9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
James Joyce enthusiasts from all walks of life will read
selections from Ulysses aloud.
Readings and musical performances will take place in three locations- Parkway Central Library (1901 Vine Street), Rittenhouse Square,(18th & Walnut) and the Rosenbach (2008 Delancey Place). Featuring Joyce fans to Joyce newbies to some of Philadelphia's most recognizable personalities, Bloomsday is truly a people's celebration of a great work of literature. This is a FREE program. Fore information, click here.