would like to thank all who responded to our member email of last
Friday regarding the two (and now three) recent criminal incidents in
the Rittenhouse area.
issue of crime in Center City West (and in Philadelphia as a whole) is
understandably of great concern to residents, workers and visitors. To
that end, CCRA maintains relationships with the police and other
community groups in addressing these concerns.
said, it would be encouraging were City leaders to stand up and take
the lead on this issue. Their consistent unresponsiveness is not
helpful. Electing a government that promises to lead on issues of
critical concern is a primary goal that all should embrace.
CCRA News and Events
Last Chance to Register for the Annual Meeting!
Come Vote For Our New Board Members
CCRA’s Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29 at the Freire School Auditorium at 2027 Chestnut at 7pm.
addition to electing new Directors, we will have an exciting keynote
speaker, State Representative Amen Brown from our neighboring district,
to discuss his successful effort to allow the seizure of off-road
vehicles and other ways in which Harrisburg can help us with
quality-of-life issues. We will also announce a significant new
initiative in our efforts to seek Justice, Equity, Diversity and
inclusion in Center City West.
Refreshments will be provided by12th Street Catererswhowowed us with their food at the 75th Anniversary Gala. Mark your calendars and join us.
And, if you have yet to see Who We Are, check out this video
we shared at the Gala. Although we are always growing and changing, the
core values shown in the video still guide us, even after 75 years.
this is a members-only event, we are requesting all members register in
advance. Each member is permitted to bring one guest.
Click here to see the board member nominee bios. Registerhere.
Rittenhouse Row Protections Restored
in the day – the day being 1988 – zoning laws protected Rittenhouse Row
from the development of skyscrapers and the like. Those protections
became optional, however, in the code re-write of 2012.
of the protections have now been restored thanks to the signing earlier
this month of City Council Bill 200118. The Bill came about through the
efforts of CCRA's Remapping Committee working with the City Planning
Commission, City Council members, the Building Industry Association of
Philadelphia, and fellow RCOs in Center City. The new zoning regulations bill will affect
development along Sansom, Walnut and Chestnut Streets, from river to
river. The pedestrian scale of these streets has a much better chance
of being maintained under the new regulations which limit the maximum
building frontages allowed along these streets and which establish
set-back requirements along Sansom Street.
CCRA Sponsors Schuylkill River Park as a Certified Level One Arboretum
part of CCRA’s ongoing commitment to environmentally green spaces,
Schuylkill River Park is now a certified level 1 Arboretum, and CCRA is
its main sponsor. As the largest swath of green space in the
neighborhood with a collection of over 250 trees, the park is critical
to our quality of life. Center City West’s tree canopy of less than 12
percent is sub-optimal and continues to decline. With CCRA’s support,
the Arboretum will help reverse this trend by better caring for its
existing trees and planting many more.
funding also will help develop a nature education program for
park-goers and area school children. Our neighborhood teachers are
excited about using the park as an extension of the classroom. The first
project is a specially designed sensory garden of many trees and shrubs
specifically chosen for their sensory qualities. To volunteer to help
plant the garden on November 12, email Susan Kahn.
CCRA’s support, the park trees will better clean and cool our air,
filter stormwater, offer space to exercise, and build community. Healthy
parks make healthy people.
CCRA’s Meeting with Philadelphia’s Controller
Tuesday, September 20, CCRA held a lunchtime meeting with Controller
Rebecca Rhynhart to discuss gun violence in the city. More than 30
people attended to see her presentation on what her office is doing and
to ask questions to solve this ongoing issue in the city. In case you
missed it, you can watch it here on our YouTube channel.
CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting
Tuesday, September 27 at 7PM
This meeting will be held via Zoom. Please be advised that this Zoom meeting will be recorded for future public viewing. To see the agenda for the meeting click here.
Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win: It provides smaller local
businesses with complimentary advertising and exposure while giving CCRA
members generous deals and discounts. This week we spotlight Chestnut
Street JewelerWilliam Schwartz Distinctive Jewelry.
All That Glitters is at William Schwartz
but a big-box chain store, William Schwartz Distinctive Jewelry is
truly distinctive in that it offers an unusually wide selection of both
unique and custom pieces, and their personal, on-site repairs are done
right the first time with very quick turnaround.
no secret that while sanitation and delivery trucks provide vital
services, their presence on congested streets can cause problems. With
that in mind, the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and
Sustainability (OTIS) proposes a six-month pilot program to alleviate
difficulties. The details: starting September 26th, from Vine Street to
Bainbridge and from river to river, materials for pickup should be put
out no earlier than 7pm the night before pickup and no later than 5:30
am the day of pickup.
not, but you CAN kill lots of birds by leaving your lights on at night
this time of year, when the birds are migrating south. Who knew they
stayed up so late? What happened to the “early bird catches the worm"?
Seriously, folks, here’s the drill until mid-November:
Turn off spotlights and/or decorative lighting
Turn off interior lights when leaving a room
Draw blinds/shades if indoor lighting required after midnight
Use down-shielded lighting outdoors
Where possible, put outdoor lighting on timers and/or motion sensors
Your feathered friends will be grateful!
From Hellscape to Heavenly?
heartened by CCRA Streets Committee Co-Chair Bill West’s observations
regarding the redevelopment of the 2300 block of Market Street. As Bill
my kinder and gentler moments, I have been known to refer to the 2300
block of Market Street as a godforsaken hellscape overrun by rampaging
cars. But I think I may be about to change my mind. Things may actually
be getting better here”. Interestingly, he uses examples from the
Schuylkill Banks to show how development can weave “theoretically
incompatible uses together”.
Read Bill’s theorieshere. Heavenly? Maybe not. But close enough for Market Street.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At MLK High School, Black Male Teachers
for the Core Four
what is believed to be a first in the district, Martin Luther King High
School’s ninth-graders have Black male teachers for the four core
subjects — math, English, science, and history.
Keisha Wilkins helped recruit the four teachers — Eric Butler, Michael
Flemming, Denzil Flemming, and Marsalis Chism — because she believes
their presence will empower the student body of the 92% Black
school. What motivated these four Black male teachers to band together?
ready to be wowed by this internationally known steelpan musician on
the Parkway TONIGHT (Thursday) at 6 pm. The quartet’s sound
incorporates jazz, Indian, funk, rock, and classical music into an
unmistakable beat, influenced by Josanne Francis’ roots from the island
of Trinidad and Tobago. The
sound of the steelpan is infused with a fascinating history of British
colonialism, where our friends across the pond banned percussion
instruments on the island, ostensibly to “keep the peace”. Thus, the
invention of the Steelpan, which is technically not a drum.Listen to this recording of hers and come out tonight for the real deal (and it’s free).
For location and details about this and other fall Parkway concerts, beat the drumhere.
Community News and Events
Design Nerds Alert: Philly Has a Brand Bible
Not sure how to style your latest Philly brand? There’s a Brand Bible for that. (Not sure what a Brand Bible is? Read on.)
it happens, our fair city maintains a go-to doc on what color shades
are in and what are not for the brand of the City of Philadelphia. “Ben
Franklin blue”, “Bell Yellow”, “Kelly Drive Green”…. It’s all here to
give clarity to those design dilemmas. Bible study starts here.
Let’s give full credit to BillyPennfor turning us on to the possibility of “The Blind Date Experience”
during Philly’s third week of its Fringe Fest. Depending on one’s
dating demographic, getting paired with a partner (a/k/a stranger) for
the night could be a not-to-be-missed experience. Created this year as
part of the Cannonball Festival(a fest within a fest), your ticketing options include being paired up with a (hopefully) interesting companion for the eve.
Read about Sammy’s “experience”and
join those brave souls meeting interesting people in a unique way, and
not necessarily for romance. Oh….and be sure to keep your eyes on the
event, as well as your new friend.
Whiskey River Ain’t Gonna Run Dry at Whiskey Fest
A Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival, at Lincoln Financial Field no less? Are we dreaming?
Nope, it’s for real. On October 13 Philadelphia
magazine hosts what it’s calling the “ultimate tasting event”, and who
are we to disagree when we’re talking over 250 premium distilled spirits
including whiskey, scotch, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, cordials and
Plus over 40 wines to taste and bites from Philly’s favorite restaurants. Cheershere.
Work It, Baby: Three New Fitness Center Outfits to Open in Rittenhouse
there’s *no* reason not be in shape, now that three separate fitness
firms are opening locations in the heart of Rittenhouse. Like who? Club
Pilates in the Icon building at 1616 Walnut; StretchLab, also at 1616
Walnut; and YogaSix at 1701 Walnut.
This Saturday (9/24) head south to the Philadelphia Naval Yard’s Marine Parade Grounds to hear the beats of headliner Trombone Shorty….guess what he plays?
New Orleans icon, Mr. Shorty (née Troy Andrews) started his career at 4
yrs old, playing in the streets, and started his own band at age
8. What type of music? It’s funk, soul, R&B, and psychedelic
rock….he calls it “Supafunkrock”.
also be treated to the sounds of Snacktime (remember them from
Rittenhouse Square during the pandemic?) and other local musicians. You
can also view the work of local artists and enjoy “street eats” from
Philly food trucks. For day of event details, sailhere.
Would you please support our local merchants and save money too? These local merchants will provide a deal or discount to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card and personal identification.