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Demolition

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.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AFTER HEARING hours of passionate testimony, the Philadelphia Historical Commission yesterday approved a Florida company's application to partially demolish the former Boyd Theatre in Center City. The company, iPic-Gold Class Entertainment, plans to raze much of the building, on Chestnut Street near 19th, and transform it into an upscale eight-screen movie theater. But those against the building's demolition plan to appeal. Howard Haas, president of the Friends of the Boyd, one of the leading advocates against its demolition, testified yesterday that a local foundation, which wants to remain anonymous, has committed to pay the $4.5 million purchase price for the Boyd.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA When Bobby Williams bought his house on Euclid Avenue eight years ago, he didn't mind the two vacant houses next door and two others across the street. The father of four had just gotten a great deal on his home in Strawberry Mansion. But time quickly took a toll on the neighboring properties - roofs collapsed, porches sank - and a few more addresses on his block were left for the raccoons. "They won't give me fire insurance because of this one," Williams, 36, said Friday, pointing to the dilapidated rowhouse next door.
NEWS
March 15, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Mike Newall, and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
The old Shirt Corner fell to pieces Thursday in Old City, sending pedestrians scurrying and jangling nerves in a city where a building collapse last summer killed six people. No one was injured when the empty store collapsed at Third and Market Streets, spilling bricks and debris into the road and sending up a huge cloud of gray dust. Workers were demolishing a building two doors east, which caused debris to land on a middle structure and fall onto the building on the corner, which then fell down, according to Mark Christof, superintendent of general contractor Constructure Management, who spoke at the scene.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
A Philadelphia Historical Commission panel granted preliminary approval Thursday to a Florida entertainment company to demolish the Boyd Theater's lavish art-deco interior, despite an anonymous donor's last-minute offer to save the city's only surviving relic of Hollywood's golden age. In reaching its decision, the Committee on Financial Hardship concluded that the large movie house could not be redeveloped at a reasonable cost, and that the purchase...
NEWS
February 8, 2014 | By Bob Warner and Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA A five-bill package intended to strengthen the city's regulation of demolition practices, impose more requirements on contractors, and demand closer supervision by city inspectors won unanimous passage in City Council on Thursday. Many of the changes - such as requiring safety plans as part of an application for any demolition permit - have already been implemented by the Nutter administration, spurred by the building collapse in June that killed six people at 22d and Market Streets.
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The fate of the historic Boyd Theater, Center City's imperiled onetime movie palace, remained in limbo Tuesday after a Philadelphia Historical Commission panel postponed taking a position on whether to recommend its demolition for redevelopment. The committee on financial hardship, whose recommendation must be issued before a final decision is made, heard from supporters and detractors before promising to continue the proceedings before the full commission meets to vote on Feb. 14. The move ended four hours of testimony that began with a lengthy 9 a.m. presentation by Matthew McClure, lawyer for owner Live Nation and the cinema concern iPic-Gold Class Entertainment, arguing that demolition of a large portion of the theater was an economically feasible option where few others existed.
NEWS
January 29, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
Update: Tuesday's historical commission adjourned without a vote and another hearing is being considered before mid-February. Earlier Story An analysis by an outside consultant hired by the Philadelphia Historical Commission to assess the viability of the historic and deteriorating Boyd Theater on Chestnut Street concludes that redevelopment "is not economically feasible without significant public subsidies. " The conclusion - that only a large infusion of public cash can save the Boyd - could be critical to forthcoming decisions from historical commission panels.
NEWS
January 26, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST DEPTFORD A West Deptford oil refinery intertwined with local politics will bid goodbye to one of its main edifices early Saturday. That's when Sunoco Logistics will implode the Eagle Point refinery's 65-year-old "fractionator" - the heaviest refining unit at the site, towering an estimated 200 feet. The "controlled implosion" will last about two minutes and also demolish a tower and chimney, West Deptford officials said. A rusty-looking dome, the fractionator - referred to in the industry as a "cat cracker," and used to convert crude oil into other fuels - was built in 1949, according to Sunoco.
NEWS
December 25, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Starting Jan. 1, contractors working in Philadelphia will have to prove they have paid their city taxes and have the appropriate insurance, or they will not be issued the necessary work permits. The change grew out of moves Mayor Nutter announced this summer to expand the city's oversight of contractors after the Market Street building collapse that killed six people. "That's always the goal, to increase oversight and just make sure everyone is playing by the rules," Rebecca Swanson, spokeswoman for the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said Monday.
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