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Demolition

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 Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Workman were seen moving heavy machinery into the Boyd Theater's auditorium Monday morning, leading Philadelphia preservationists to conclude that its owner, Live Nation, has begun demolition of Center City's last art deco movie palace. The Preservation Alliance's advocacy director, Ben Leech, said he could clearly hear hammering sounds when he walked past the theater's Sansom Street exit doors. "I can't think of what else they'd be doing other than demolition," he said. He noted that a demolition permit was posted on the theater's Chestnut Street facade this weekend.
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.
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