April 23, 2015 |
When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point. The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units. Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November.
September 15, 2014 |
Nearly a decade after he started the project, James Maransky has finally finished the second phase of the Icehouse, his 36-unit condominium development at Thompson Street and Columbia Avenue in Fishtown. EnVision Group, his company, now will break ground on a third phase. One block over from the Icehouse on Columbia, it is developing Moyer Street Court townhouses. Maransky, founder of EnVision and a green-roof professional who specializes in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified construction, said many of his colleagues in the industry did not make it through the financial crisis.
July 20, 2014 |
Roofmeadow founder Charlie Miller and head of operations Melissa Muroff are designing, promoting, and maintaining green roofs all across the Philadelphia area - the 13,000-square-foot green roof at the Barnes Museum, another atop the Granary building in Fairmount. Lately, they've been busy. The Philadelphia Water Department is charged with ensuring compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. PWD developed a "Green City, Clean Waters" program to use so-called green infrastructure to deal with wastewater, instead of underground pipes.
June 2, 2014 |
Wishing you had a little patch of greenery atop your building, while also feeling good about helping the environment? At 1148 Wharton St., a South Philadelphia school-turned-apartment building offers renters a trendy amenity in urban real estate: the green roof. The Wharton Street Lofts is a residential building that converted what was once a public, then a parochial, school into 45 apartments with 38 parking spots. For urban dwellers who want an environmentally friendly living space, the project offers a green roof deck open to all residents, because the developer was awarded a storm water management grant from a Philadelphia city agency.
July 25, 2013 |
Contractors studded Philadelphia with art deco-flavored postal centers, courts, and government offices, in brick, concrete, and limestone, back in the 1930s, as the federal Works Progress Administration tried to spend the nation out of the Great Depression. After the most recent financial crisis, Washington settled for the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 - the "stimulus" supplied by President Obama - that gave the city, among other projects, a half-acre green roof; high, tight windows; and LED lights at the 17-story, WPA-built Custom House , the cross-shaped federal office building at Second and Chestnut Streets that houses hundreds of federal workers for the National Park Service, Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security, passport office, and other federal outlets.
March 5, 2013
Inquirer staff writer Virginia Smith is writing this week from the Philadelphia Flower Show. These posts appeared on her blog, "Kiss the Earth," at philly.com/kisstheearth. Read her stories at philly.com/ginny, and other Flower Show coverage at philly.com/flowershow. Princess Beatrice would be so bored She'd be so bored in Room 201C at the show, the Make and Take room. I mean, this is the gal who showed up at William and Kate's 2011 wedding in a headpiece - known as a fascinator - described as "a beige toilet seat," "antlers," and, kindly, "a pretzel-shaped bow. " It was unbelievable.
July 21, 2012 |
You'll find many things in Steve Silberstein's garden, but no fads — no fairy landscapes or "follies," no upside-down tomatoes, not even a green roof on the mailbox. And unlike the "instant gardens" and backyard makeovers so popular today, Silberstein's garden has been put together intentionally — "bit by bit," as he describes it — over the last 23 years. It now covers all but one of the 4 1/2 acres he shares with his wife Melody in Willingboro. "It's not all planted — yet," Silberstein comments without irony, though it's funny when he says that because it's one of the few times he sounds like the rest of us. We swear by the adage, "You can never have too many plants.
August 4, 2011 |
William Jordan's path to affordable produce takes him on three city buses. At 46, Jordan is hindered by high blood pressure, asthma, and permanent damage to his right knee, but he makes the journey - on crutches, despite the heat, every Thursday afternoon - to stretch his SNAP (food stamp) dollars in an experimental program with an appropriate acronym: LIFE. This Local Initiative for Food Education at Greensgrow Farm in Kensington, now in its second summer, enables members to stretch their SNAP dollars while cultivating their ability to budget, plan, shop, and prepare meals.
June 16, 2011 |
Minutes after Mayor Nutter crowed about the city's environmental accomplishments and goals, several residents walking in Center City yesterday offered lukewarm support for Nutter's effort to make Philadelphia the "greenest city in America" by 2015. A young couple sitting near City Hall praised the city for making the environment a priority. "It's a nice city, but it would be better if it was clean," said Camille, who didn't want to give her last name. While they noted the latest change - Philadelphia's first green-roof bus shelter at 15th and Market streets - others had yet to recognize the innovation.
June 15, 2011 |
The city's newest green roof is also, in all likelihood, its smallest and oddest - a cheerful puff of plant life atop a bus-stop shelter at 15th and Market Streets. At all of 60 square feet - hardly as big as a living-room rug - it might not stop more than a few buckets full of rain from entering the city's aged storm-water system. But its mission remains ambitious: To show the crush of passersby at one of the city's busiest intersections the value of absorbing rainwater and stalling its flow.