April 15, 2000
The perpetual Center City debate over aesthetics vs. profits once again has reached high decibels. At first, the fight over plans for a multistory parking garage on Sansom Street was over whether some old but undistinguished buildings should be razed. Now, with demolition begun, the brawl is over how tall the garage should be. On a deeper level, it's over just how far a historic downtown should bend to accommodate the car. The developer, Wayne Spilove, who also chairs the city's historic commission, wants to create 320 self-park spaces.
March 31, 2000 |
One might call Museum Towers a work of art. From the imposing entry arch - a steel sculpture by Albert Paley titled Synergy - to the neoclassic architectural forms both outside and inside, to the contemporary art on the lobby walls, and the units themselves, carrying such names as the Matisse, Rodin, and Calder, everything about the place is arty! Even the trees in the center of the circular driveway display an artistic flair - not just birch trees, they're river birches, wrapped in bark gracefully peeling and curled around their trunks.
February 27, 2000 |
Ask Medford Mayor Scott Rudder about the big off-white building with a peaked roof that rises above Stokes Road near the corner of Jackson Road. Standing alone in a sea of asphalt, the boxy building is in stark contrast to the Victorian-style homes and quaint storefronts of historic Main Street less than a mile up the road. In Rudder's eyes, it is equally incongruous with the small "community-commercial" district and the hundreds of acres of preserved open space that sit on either side.
December 1, 1999 |
A Burlington County Superior Court judge has reversed a decision by Moorestown officials that stopped repairs on a carriage house two years ago in a dispute over the lack of dormers and "eyebrow arches" on the roof. Neighbors had complained that a redesign of the 1917 carriage house behind 607 Chester Ave. - after a fire damaged the second floor - was out of character with the rest of the historic homes in the neighborhood because three dormers were eliminated. Owners Earl and Sandra Waxman wanted to expand the upstairs floor by enclosing the space between the dormers.
October 3, 1999 |
Vernon, a cruise veteran from Texas whose last name I never learned, gave me the lowdown: "Some cruises are for relaxing. Some are for seeing things. "This one is definitely for seeing things. " Vernon delivered this brief cruise philosophy as we sat outside a roadside cafe in Corinth, Greece. We had just gotten off a tour bus to gape at the century-old Corinth canal, an engineering marvel that connects the Saronic Gulf and Aegean Sea, and were taking a 10-minute break before proceeding to the vast Roman ruins a few miles away.
July 21, 1999 |
While residents and city officials haggle over what should replace it, the historic Germantown Avenue Bridge linking Chestnut Hill and Montgomery County falls further into ruin, snarling traffic and inconveniencing motorists. The bridge's sidewalks long ago fell into the Wissahickon Creek. Mattress-like support bags hug the bottom of two of its stone piers. City engineers have reduced the maximum vehicle weight from 30 tons to 13 tons for fear that a tractor-trailer's weight could cause a collapse.
July 6, 1999 |
The island at the intersection of Susquehanna Road and Limekiln Pike recently sprouted some vegetation. Not the edible kind. Just some shrubs, trees and flowers to spruce it up a bit. "It's a heavily trafficked area," said Peter Blood, chairman of the local Shade Tree Commission, who has lived in Upper Dublin for 12 years. "This will give commuters something really nice to look at other than the traffic lights. " Landscape work at the Dresher Triangle, which was to wrap up last week, is the first of the Shade Tree Commission's efforts to beautify several triangles in the township, such as the ones at Commerce Drive and Pennsylvania Avenue and at Bethlehem Pike and Montgomery Avenue.
June 21, 1999 |
For now, this five-acre tract is just another construction site in a city of cranes and scaffolding. Situated between the rebuilt Reichstag and Adolf Hitler's razed Chancellery, it is surrounded by a fence plastered with posters. But not just any posters: black-and-white photographs of the segregation, deportation and killing of European Jews. Here, in the heart of Berlin, the posters are a propaganda volley in a decade-long battle over whether this land above the bunker of Reichsmarschal Hermann Goering should house a national memorial to those murdered Jews and what such a Holocaust memorial should look like.
March 29, 1999 |
Tom Renshaw's first tattoo was a Harley-Davidson logo on his left upper arm. "Typical old school" is the way Renshaw, 37, a tattoo artist from Detroit, described it as he pushed up his sleeve to offer a better view of skulls wreathed by licking flames drawn in solid ink-blue lines. The newer "pieces" adorning his lower arms are detailed portraits of musicians Jim Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn and David Crosby in black and gray, a style Renshaw has made his own. A new generation of artists has transformed the tattoo, said Renshaw.
March 12, 1999
It's only a coincidence, of course, that motorists using the Benjamin Franklin Bridge between Philadelphia and Camden must pay the $2 toll only when entering Philadelphia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with a worry that if motorists were forced to pay the tariff just before traveling along the abysmal Admiral Wilson Boulevard, they might simply refuse. But motorists couldn't be blamed for wondering why they paid to enter the alleged Garden State only to be treated to a prolonged view of vacant industrial hulks, topless joints, liquor stores, billboards and the occasional hooker for hire.