June 8, 2013 |
Following the catastrophic building collapse at 22d and Market Streets, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke resurrected a bill Thursday to punish speculators for holding on to vacant, often dilapidated, properties. Clarke said he had planned to introduce the bill eventually, but Wednesday's tragedy, which killed six people and injured 14, spurred him to act. The bill would create a "non-utilization tax," which would charge an owner 10 percent of a property's assessed value after it had been vacant for more than a year.
June 7, 2013 |
Richard Basciano and the late Samuel A. Rappaport were friends, business partners, and slumlords. Both rose from humble beginnings to become real estate speculators extraordinaire. They scooped up blighted properties in Philadelphia and sat on them for years while the structures crumbled, eventually selling them at huge markups to be developed by others. Now they have something else in common. Both owned buildings that killed. While the circumstances of the two fatal accidents are very different, the cases are linked by more than just the two men's complex relationship; the tragedies reveal the city's inability to enforce basic building safety.
June 16, 2014 |
Washington Square has been one of the quieter corners of Center City since the crowds of pressmen, illustrators, ad salespeople, and buzzing electric paper trucks vanished from the neighborhood, along with Philadelphia's old role as the nation's mass-market publishing center. But the blocks around Washington Square now seem primed to become more like busy Rittenhouse Square , a Philadelphia slice of Manhattan with its pricey apartments, cafes, boutiques, and crowded sidewalks.
June 6, 2013 |
The block of Market Street where two buildings collapsed today is not just one of the most blighted stretches remaining in Center City; it is a block where blight was ignored for decades by successive city administrations. The collection of small, decrepit commerical buildings, which includes Hoagie City and the Salvation Army Thrift Store, was once part a larger empire of blight assembled by Philadelphia's most notorious slumlord, Sam Rappaport. Even as the rest of Center City took on a polished gloss, the deteriorated Market Street buildings were among the first things people saw as they entered the city from 30th Street Station.
November 30, 2013 |
Like the prow of a ship, the main facade of Drexel University's new business school at 32d and Market Streets steers toward Center City, straining to narrow the two-block gap between the Schuylkill and its fast-growing campus. In a bit of overt symbolism, the university even relocated a statue of founder Anthony Drexel to the entrance plaza, so he now stands firmly at the helm of this eastward venture. Under its current president, John A. Fry, Drexel has made no secret of its desire to fill that bleak, underutilized space with the sleek towers of a new technology-dominated neighborhood.
May 5, 2011 |
Market Street between 16th and 17th Streets will be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. today for a Philadelphia Soul Football practice session. Traffic will be allowed to cross Market Street at 16th and 17th streets, but police say motorists should expect backups and delays in the area.
June 2, 2014 |
For months, Nancy Winkler and Jay Bryan went out of their way not to pass by 22d and Market Streets. They lived only three blocks away, so it wasn't easy. But avoiding that corner forever would be almost impossible. When the couple did finally find themselves there in April, what they saw only deepened the sadness in their lives - a barren lot, long and narrow, strewn front to back with accumulated garbage. "It was depressing to see that people were trashing it," Bryan said.
April 19, 2012
Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections issued three citations Wednesday against a building in the 700 block of Market Street owned by Yechiel, Nahman, and Michael Lichtenstein, who also owned the Kensington building that burned last week, killing two firefighters. An L&I spokeswoman said the fire had prompted a review of all Lichtenstein properties, leading to the new citations on Market Street, which included operating a multifamily dwelling without a housing-inspection license, failure to keep fire-alarm testing records and certificates on site, and improper maintenance of the facade.
April 23, 1992 |
Marjorie O. Rendell, wife of Mayor Rendell, was appointed yesterday to the board of the Market Street East Improvement Association, the private-sector group overseeing redevelopment of Market Street east of City Hall. "I think it is an important part of the effort to improve the Center City area," Marjorie Rendell said. "And that is something we really need now more than ever, because of our hope that we will have conventions and tourists visiting that part of the city. " Rendell, a bankruptcy lawyer who is known as Midge, said the Market East board was the first major civic commitment she has made since her husband became mayor earlier this year.
May 17, 2014 |
Ending decades of divided control of the subterranean realm beneath Center City, SEPTA soon will be in charge of cleaning, maintaining, and repairing almost everything under the streets. That should mean improved cleanliness, lighting, and safety as SEPTA uses new state funding to upgrade the long-neglected passageways, agency officials said Thursday. A new 30-year lease with the city gives SEPTA responsibility for the 3.5 miles of city-owned concourses along Market Street from Eighth to 18th Streets and south to the Walnut-Locust subway station, as well as the elevators and escalators that serve the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines.