March 7, 2014 |
Imagine people eating and drinking, just steps from Independence Hall. It happened in the 18th century, and it will happen again this summer. Restaurateur Michael Schulson has secured a deal with the owners of One South Independence Mall West - the landmark Rohm & Haas building and now the home of Dow Chemical at Sixth and Market Streets - to create an outdoor beer garden across from the Liberty Bell. Schulson, who owns Sampan, the Saint James, and Atlantic City's Izakaya, will control 30,000 square feet around the building as Independence Beer Garden , which he hopes to open July Fourth.
February 22, 2014 |
It's hard not to wince when you first look at the renderings of the Mormon Church's expanding kingdom at 16th and Vine Streets, unveiled last week by Mayor Nutter. The architectural chameleons at Robert Stern's office have paired a 1920s-style apartment tower with a teensy redbrick meetinghouse that looks as if it was dragged across town from colonial-era Society Hill. As if that wasn't enough, those retro buildings will join a snow-white, double-spired, French classical Mormon temple by Perkins+Will that is already rising along the cliff edge of the Vine Street Expressway.
February 17, 2014 |
Deeply dissatisfied with Robert A.M. Stern's design for a Revolutionary War museum near Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Art Commission has taken the unusual - and welcome - step of asking the prominent New York architect to go back to the drawing board. Although the commission did not reject the $150 million project outright, it sent a clear message to the organizers Feb. 5, saying that the faux-colonial home planned for the Museum of the American Revolution Center did not measure up to authentic colonial-era buildings nearby.
December 30, 2013 |
Dennis Reidenbach moved to Philadelphia in July 1976, as the city's combative mayor, Frank L. Rizzo , was warning tourists to avoid the Bicentennial of American independence because he feared protests. Reidenbach built a career with the National Park Service that focused on finding ways to attract many more tourists to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites as federal park budgets shrank. He rose to superintendent at Independence National Historical Park and, since 2007, has headed the service's 13-state Northeast region.
December 15, 2013 |
MORE THAN two months have passed since an ambulance's electrical wiring shorted, sparking a blaze that destroyed the vehicle and ravaged a firehouse at 4th and Arch streets in Old City. But plywood still blocks the windows and garage doors of the Ben Franklin Firehouse, and the firefighters and paramedics who worked there remain reassigned to other stations. That irks the firefighters' union, whose leaders complain that the shuttered firehouse leaves the city's historic district vulnerable because the next-closest stations are blocks away, increasing emergency response time.
October 19, 2013 |
The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two symbols of the city's history and vitality, reopened after 16 days of darkness Thursday as thousands of relieved federal employees returned to work across the Philadelphia region. The end of the government shutdown sent workers back to local jobs in places such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Army Corps of Engineers, and ensured that those who have worked without pay as "essential" employees would get checks.
October 17, 2013 |
At the National Constitution Center, the government shutdown is turning out to be good for business: Attendance is up 57 percent. Elfreth's Alley drew a bigger weekend crowd, Christ Church got an initial bump, and attendance is up slightly at the tours and attractions run by Historic Philadelphia Inc. It appears that the shutdown that closed Philadelphia's biggest historic sites, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, may be diverting visitors...
October 4, 2013 |
IT'S A NEIGHBORHOOD fish story worth telling. Ten years ago, when Paul Kimport and William Reed took over Johnny Brenda's, there wasn't much new going on in Fishtown, a blue-collar, mostly Irish-Catholic river-ward neighborhood 2 miles north of Independence Hall. The triangle roughly bounded by the Delaware River, Frankford Avenue and York Street wasn't on anybody's radar for dining or nightlife, unless you were looking for a gritty shot-and-beer joint like Johnny Brenda's, opened in 1967 by boxer John Imbrenda, whose ringside moniker is still on the sign outside.
October 3, 2013 |
Closed That is the sign that went up Tuesday at National Parks in and around Philadelphia as the partial government shutdown went into effect. Independence Hall. Closed. The Liberty Bell. Closed. Valley Forge. Closed. And with their doors and gates locked, hundreds of federal employees now find themselves facing furlough. In other words, out of work and earning no pay. Independence National Historical Park was a "depressing and confusing" place to be on Tuesday morning, according to David Fitzpatrick, an air-conditioning mechanic and the president of Local 2058 of the American Federation of Government Employees.
October 3, 2013 |
I'VE ALWAYS thought it would be fun to be a Philly tour guide. I know the city's ins and outs. I have offbeat personal anecdotes to share ("When I was a college freshman, I once took a midnight nap behind Independence Hall after a party!"). And I already talk with strangers for a living, right? But there was nothing fun about my impromptu attempt to be a tour guide yesterday in Philly's locked-down historic area. I just felt depressed for the tourists who'd planned vacations around their visit, only to find so many of its iconic buildings dark, thanks to the federal government's standstill.