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Demolition

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NEWS
June 28, 1990 | By Cynthia Henry, Inquirer Staff Writer
Residents determined to save Ardmore Junior High from ruins have vowed to fight on despite a Commonwealth Court decision upholding the demolition. Attorney Alan Candor, representing four Lower Merion residents, said Tuesday that he would file an appeal of the June 18 ruling by today's deadline. Meanwhile, the school district is trying to move ahead with the demolition, which now may cost more than the $1.5 million budgeted last year. A panel of three judges rejected the Lower Merion residents' contention that the state Department of Education and the school district had denied them a hearing in the case and had ignored historic preservation laws in authorizing the demolition last year.
NEWS
June 20, 2013
By Robert Brehm A Philadelphia building collapses, people are killed, and the public demands reforms to prevent future tragedies. We have seen this sequence of events before. There are lessons to be learned, but not new ones. Engineers already know the inherent dangers of demolition and the reasons for such failures. The questions have been asked 100 times and answered 101 times. But the public outcry winds down, political will diminishes, and contractors complain that they are overregulated.
NEWS
April 10, 1988 | By Leslie Florio, Special to The Inquirer
An uninsured plumbing business destroyed in a Darby Borough fire has been condemned by the Darby Borough Council, and will be demolished at taxpayer expense. The blaze destroyed the Janess Supply Co. Inc. building at New Walnut Street and Chester Pike last Sunday. Also damaged were the Darby Shoe Store at 888 Main St. and an 18-unit apartment building at 896 Main St. On Wednesday, the council voted unanimously to declare the shoe store and the plumbing buildings unsafe and a danger to residents.
NEWS
April 12, 1989 | By Carol D. Leonnig, Special to The Inquirer
The Burlington County prosecutor has subpoenaed Willingboro School District records as the latest step in its investigation of the demolition of a vacant school building and the use of maintenance workers for the job. The roof of the former Alternate School collapsed March 13 on a team of workers, killing one and injuring five others. School board members were told Monday night about the subpoena, which requests minutes and videotaped recordings of all meetings when the board discussed the building's sale, removal or demolition.
NEWS
August 19, 1994 | by Mark McDonald, Daily News Staff Writer
The demolition crew, hired by the city at a cost of $710,000, is primed and ready for the massive demolition of the historic and abandoned Mayfair House in Mount Airy on Monday. But yesterday the owner, Arnav Industries of New York City, went before Common Pleas Judge Russell Nigro seeking an order to block the impending demolition. Nigro delayed a decision and called both sides to his chambers for a meeting today. Carl Primavera, who represents Arnav, said his client was close to an agreement with a new developer and that the 14-story, 244-unit building at Lincoln Drive and Johnson Street could become housing for senior citizens.
NEWS
December 1, 1992 | by Anthony S. Twyman, Daily News Staff Writer
A City Council committee hearing is scheduled tonight on a Philadelphia Housing Authority proposal to raze eight dilapidated high-rises at the Raymond Rosen Apartments in North Philadelphia and replace them with townhouses. PHA needs Council's approval to demolish the high-rises and replace them with 814 townhouses that would be built or rehabilitated on or near the site at 23rd and Diamond streets. The agency has applied to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for $60 million to fund the project.
NEWS
March 14, 1991 | By Lisa Moorhead, Special to The Inquirer
A Victorian home on East Ridley Avenue came tumbling down this week, and if a few Ridley Park residents are correct, the uproar over the demolition has just begun. Council member Jack Petrie announced at a council meeting Tuesday night that 201 E. Ridley Ave. was about 80 percent demolished. A Zoning Hearing Board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 tonight to debate the development of the site, Petrie said. The subject of the demolition sparked disapproval from council member William Pilson, liaison to the borough Historical Commission, and two residents.
NEWS
December 1, 1991 | By Rob Wingate, Special to The Inquirer
Newtown Township supervisors have approved a plan that would allow the demolition of the Dunwoody Home on West Chester Pike, which has provided care to the elderly since 1924. But the 4-0 vote Monday was overshadowed by complaints that Dunwoody's trustees have failed to communicate their plans to relatives of current residents - many of whom must now find other accommodations. Dunwoody plans to house 10 of the 40 current residents of the home in a proposed medical facility and relocate the others to different institutions.
NEWS
September 13, 1987 | By Barbara McCabe, Special to The Inquirer
Plans to demolish one of Narberth's 18th-century buildings have left preservationists in the borough feeling helpless. "There doesn't seem to be an awful lot we can do legally," said David Brawer, president of the Narberth Preservation Committee, which was formed to raise the community's consciousness about the historic value of some of the borough's older buildings. Brawer was bemoaning the impending demolition of a rundown old house at 1226 Montgomery Ave. that dates back to 1725.
NEWS
April 24, 1986 | By Ruth Tallmadge, Special to The Inquirer
Owners of Devonshire townhouses have sought help from the Easttown Township supervisors, saying that First Devon Corp. has failed to maintain structures and grounds at the Sugartown Road development. The residents attended Monday's board meeting to get the supervisors' support for the proposed demolition of outbuildings, which the residents described as being in poor condition and a hazard to children. They won partial support: The supervisors passed a motion approving issuance of a demolition permit for one structure and part of a second structure.
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NEWS
July 29, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Neighbors opposing the proposed demolition of the William Penn Inn in Lower Merion presented information Monday suggesting that the building might have harbored runaway slaves. At a meeting of the township Historical Commission, a resident of the inn showed photographs of a trapdoor panel and a hiding place between the second and third floors. Gerald A. Francis, president of the Lower Merion Historical Society, said it would be nearly impossible to prove that runaways passed through, but "it would make sense" given its location near other known safe houses.
NEWS
July 24, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
MORE THAN a year after a botched demolition on Market Street turned tragic, the official death toll may go up by one. Six people died and 14 more were injured in the immediate aftermath of the June 5, 2013, catastrophe, in which an unsupported wall from the demolition site fell onto an open Salvation Army store next door and crushed those inside. Yesterday, the widow of Danny Johnson, a shopper who was trapped under the rubble and died 23 days later, filed a wrongful-death suit against the property owner, contractor, architect and excavator operator of the demolition, as well as the Salvation Army.
NEWS
June 22, 2014 | By Michael Boren, David O'Reilly, and Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writers
It was lunchtime, and the building - a long-vacant Blockbuster Video store on Route 38 in Cherry Hill - had been nearly razed to make way for a new Super Wawa. But things went awry at 12:31 Friday, when a cinder block wall and a metal roof collapsed during the demolition, killing one worker and sending another to the hospital. The dead worker was a male day laborer who had been employed by a subcontractor for just two weeks, federal officials said Friday night. An official with knowledge of the accident said the victim was evidently inside what remained of the building even as its walls were being knocked down.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
In North Camden, five men made their way down State Street on Wednesday morning, taking the city's problem of abandoned properties into their own hands, one building at a time. Broken windows and doors were replaced with sturdy boards decorated with painted foliage. Red flowers were planted along the sidewalk. Those in the group, all but one of whom live within a few blocks of where they were working, had jobs to keep them occupied and help pay the bills. "I feel like I'm cleaning up the city, giving it a better name," said Jose Porrata Jr., who lives around the corner.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Incomplete, inaccurate, or nonexistent data on privately contracted demolitions suggest that the city is not any safer than it was on June 5, when the collapse of a Center City building being razed resulted in the deaths of six people, the City Controller's Office announced Thursday. In a 31-page audit of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, Controller Alan Butkovitz slammed the agency for what he described as an ongoing "culture of informality" that "jeopardizes public safety.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
  ARE PHILADELPHIA'S demolition procedures significantly safer today than before the June building collapse at 22nd and Market streets that killed six people inside a Salvation Army thrift shop? The Department of Licenses & Inspections says yes. But City Controller Alan Butkovitz says L&I records are such a mess that it's difficult to know. Yesterday, Butkovitz released a blistering audit that alleged a "culture of informality" within L&I, which he said kept shoddy records and waived demolition-inspection requirements without explanation.
NEWS
May 1, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
STRAWBERRY MANSION Two demolition workers in Strawberry Mansion were injured Tuesday when struck by a piece of brownstone that fell from a rowhouse next to a building they were bringing down, officials said. Two of the workers demolishing 3026 W. Diamond St. - owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority - were leaving the site about 10:30 a.m. for a break when a piece of brownstone from 3028 W. Diamond fell on them, said Scott Mulderig, director of L&I's emergency services division.
NEWS
April 29, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Triumph Baptist Church wanted to grow. It bought an old suit factory in North Philadelphia in 1998, hoping to tear it down and build a house of worship. But over time, Triumph changed its plans. The vacant factory became an eyesore and hazard, leaving the city little choice but to demolish it in 2011 at a cost of $794,191 to taxpayers. The owners were supposed to reimburse the city for the work. Three years later, they haven't. Thus did 1801 W. Courtland Ave. join the list of 39,391 properties with "nuisance liens" - unpaid bills for sealing, cleaning, or demolition done at taxpayer expense by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
PHILADELPHIA Fearful that demolition is already underway at the historic Boyd Theater, officials at the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia said they would seek a court order Tuesday to stop the owner from proceeding with plans leading to a new multiplex. Workmen were seen moving heavy machinery into the Boyd's ornate auditorium on Monday morning, leading preservationists to conclude that the theater's owner, Live Nation, had begun gutting Center City's last art deco movie palace, said Caroline E. Boyce, the alliance's director.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | BY ASHLEY KUHN, Daily News Staff Writer kuhna@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
DEMOLITION began yesterday on the ornate art deco interior of Center City's 86-year-old Boyd Theatre, three days after the Philadelphia Historical Commission granted the owner permission to gut it and make way for an eight-screen movie house. "There was a small crew there today doing no more than was approved in order to start reconstruction," said Matthew N. McClure of Ballard Spahr, attorney for the building's owner, Live Nation. On Friday, the commission approved a "financial hardship" demolition permit, accepting Live Nation's argument that it was not economically feasible to repurpose the theater, on Chestnut Street near 19th.
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