January 6, 2008 |
To those who haven't been properly introduced, or who've only seen it on the fly, the stretch of Baltimore Avenue that approaches 50th Street in West Philadelphia is not quick to reveal its quirky charm. Rosemarie Certo admits to being guilty on both counts. Offered space to open a brewpub at this western edge of Cedar Park, she balked: "It was too far. " Too far from what? "Too far from 46th and Baltimore," which was about as far as she saw commercial possibility. She has come to adjust her view since, saying she has discovered profound value in the racial mix, arts scene, and political consciousness (ranging from prisoner-advocate vegan anarchists to establishmentarian Penn profs)
December 21, 2007 |
The branding of Broad Street as the Avenue of the Arts is one of those hokey marketing ploys that actually seems to have paid off. In the last decade, the blocks immediately south of City Hall have been transformed into Philadelphia's twinkling theater row. The cultural chain was extended another link in October, with the opening of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre at Lombard Street. Continue walking south, however, and the Avenue of the Arts doesn't seem so bright. The only lights you see emanate from gas stations and fast-food places.
July 30, 2007 |
THE CONVENTION Center expansion has been in the planning stages for more than a decade. It needs to expand, we're told, so that it can hold two conventions simultaneously. Ten years from now, will the center need to expand further, say north to Vine Street, for some other compelling reason? And, as it expands, why must a dozen buildings - several historic - simply be "vaporized"? State and local historic commissions have OK'd the expansion, and necessary demolition, citing the usual prevailing excuse - "the public interest.
June 27, 2007
IWANT TO clarify an impression that may have been left by the June 19 article "Firehouse vent system a $1.3M snafu. " I was quoted as saying, "It's more harmful to the community" to have fire-truck exhaust vented out of the firehouses. The implication is that Clean Air Council does not care about the health of firefighters who work inside these firehouses. This is far from the case. The council believes that the choice between community and firefighter health is a false one. Fire trucks, along with all heavy duty vehicles, should be retrofitted with the cleanest pollution-control technologies available to reduce toxic diesel emissions directly from the engines.
June 20, 2007 |
Because their work is so risky and dangerous, because the routine discharge of their duties requires so much death-defying physical courage, firefighters, like soldiers, are united by a special bond. The word often used to describe the intensity of that bond is brotherhood. So news of the warehouse fire in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine of their brothers was keenly felt yesterday by the firefighters of Philadelphia. "When something like this happens, it shoots across the country - pardon the expression - like wildfire," said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.
June 18, 2007
Save history Tom Belden's update on the Convention Center expansion (Business, Tuesday) overlooks a little-discussed aspect of this $700 million project. Of the dozen buildings scheduled for demolition, several are historic gems, notably the four buildings on the east side of Broad between Cherry and Arch, and the extraordinary firehouse at 1328 Race Street. Preserving and incorporating these buildings (not just their facades) would save the Convention Center millions in demolition costs and provide the area with much needed hotel and retail space.
January 20, 2007 |
The Fire Department's Engine 73 station house in West Oak Lane must be stuck under a dark cloud. The firehouse, undergoing repairs from a freak blaze on Jan. 6, caught fire again yesterday morning. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire in the ceiling of the building at 76th and Ogontz Avenues, but it had already caused more damage. The cause of the fire was under investigation. The station had been closed for repair work and its equipment posted elsewhere since the Jan. 6 fire, officials said.
January 7, 2007 |
Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fire engine to slip out of gear inside a Cedarbrook firehouse, lurch into a wall, and set the firehouse ablaze yesterday morning. The friction caused by the spinning wheels of the stuck vehicle ignited the undercarriage and caused the one-alarm fire at 76th Street and Ogontz Avenue, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. Firefighters tried but were unable to turn off the engine, he said. The fire was called in at 9:25 a.m. and was under control at 10:12 a.m. with the help of companies from several other firehouses.
December 25, 2006 |
The Ganges brothers, Tendaji, Larry and Kelly, traveled to Tinicum Township in August in what history buffs hope was the first of many pilgrimages to an early American quarantine station there. The red-brick lazaretto, as it was called, was built in 1800 as a way to screen ships on the Delaware River for infectious diseases. As such, it gave immigrants their first contact with the new world. In the case of the Ganges family, the lazaretto was the final act of a close call.
October 8, 2006 |
Rob Girandola had no idea. When he received an e-mail last December about a New York fire company needing someone to sculpt a memorial to four fallen firemen, the Yardley resident thought it would be a small project for some firehouse in Brooklyn, or Queens. Then when he applied - offering to do it for free - and didn't hear anything, he stopped thinking of it altogether. Finally, in June, fireman Al Sicignano from Engine 6 in Manhattan called and detailed the assignment: a memorial to four men who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.