November 2, 2005 |
MICHAEL SKLAROFF shares his limited and ultimately disdainful view of the planning profession in Philadelphia in his Oct. 25 op-ed in the Daily News, "Celebrate the success of city planning. " Sklaroff depicted planning as a necessary evil that is ideally consigned to an advisory role in an arena dominated by the lords of laissez-faire economics. Extolling the Hyatt at Penn's Landing and Dave & Buster's on Delaware Avenue as paragons of market-driven riverfront development, Sklaroff, chairman of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and a Philadelphia real estate lawyer, unwittingly illuminates the shallowness of his argument and the depth of the schism between planning and development in contemporary Philadelphia.
February 29, 2004 |
It hulks on a pedestal, demanding attention in a pedestrian hub. The rusty iron object veers east, then west, part triangle, part rectangle as it journeys 30 feet up. Each day the iron thing in front of Rowan University's Student Center requires a glance, maybe a head scratch. Last week, it sprouted an icicle that gave it still another dimension. But what is it? And why? Public art - whether it be Philadelphia's giant clothespin or Rowan's mystery sculpture - aims to put hectic lives on pause.
March 21, 2012 |
ALMOST SINCE the day it was announced back in 2006, Revel, the $2.4 billion pleasure dome on the eastern end of Atlantic City's boardwalk, has been seen as a "game-changer. " That is, gaming industry observers and insiders have pinned the mega-resort as the Great Blue Hope (for its acres of azure exterior glass) that will restore AyCee's former glory as the epicenter of East Coast gaming and entertainment. Whether or not Revel can compel former Atlantic City visitors to return while simultaneously creating a new customer base of those who heretofore have resisted the seaside gambling capital's particular charms can be charted as of April 2, when the 6.5 million-square-foot behemoth begins welcoming the public.
April 20, 2012 |
Temple student Ian Van Kuyk was arraigned this week on charges of obstruction, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Van Kuyk, a film and media arts major, was arrested by Philadelphia police last month after he photographed a routine traffic stop in front of his apartment building for a photojournalism course. Asserting his First Amendment right to record police activity in public, Van Kuyk had refused when officers asked him to stop taking pictures. The officers allegedly pushed, shoved, and threw Van Kuyk to the ground before handcuffing him. Van Kuyk's girlfriend, who tried to rescue his camera, was also charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct.
December 12, 2012
By Rick Sauer and Donald L. Haskin While for-profit developers across the country are postponing or even canceling major projects, community development corporations are confronting their challenges and revitalizing Philadelphia neighborhoods. A few examples: Last year, the $45 million Aramingo Crossings Shopping Center opened on the site of an abandoned Tioga Pipe plant, once seen as a major barrier to Port Richmond's progress. Anchored by a Walmart and a Lowe's Home Improvement store, the center created more than 700 jobs.
March 4, 2013 |
Without fanfare, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has opened its new two-floor art-handling facility - 62,000 square feet hewn from schist and granite deep beneath the museum's Fairmount knoll. Begun in November 2010 at the base of the facade facing the Schuylkill, the $81 million facility was substantially completed by October 2012, about $5 million below budget. Though not everything is quite finished, it has been increasingly busy in recent months. This bit of practical engineering - the workaday heart that pumps life through the museum's public spaces - represents the complicated, all but invisible answer to a difficult question: How to add to the existing 600,000 square feet of self-contained neoclassical stone set atop a hill?
August 5, 2012 |
PARIS - It's a July evening on the terrace of the legendary Cafe Flore. A coiffed woman sips chilled wine, another savors her chocolate eclair. The one thing to complete a perfect picture of Parisian life? A dash of French rudeness. It comes from the waiter, who snootily turns away a group of tourists: "There's no point waiting," he shrugs, even though there are many empty tables. "No space outside. " Such rituals of rudeness have long been accepted by visitors as part of the price of enjoying such a beautiful city as Paris.
October 18, 1987 |
The first percent-for-art programs, which were initiated in Philadelphia in 1958 and 1959, arose as an attempt to mitigate the effects of modernist architecture and planning. Looking around, their sponsors saw bleak environments that they hoped to "humanize" with art. That didn't quite work, because the supporters of such programs didn't reckon with the nature of modernist art, which tended toward the personal, the self-referential and many of the same abstract principles that underlay the architecture and planning they disliked.
August 6, 1987 |
For the last week or so, three artists have been busy digging, welding and otherwise building things in Washington Square, under the watchful eyes of curious - and perhaps apprehensive - residents of the park's perimeter. Those who haven't had the nerve to ask what's going on needn't be concerned. The activity is part of the We the People 200 celebration of the bicentennial of the Constitution, and the structures the artists have created are only temporary. After Oct. 12, they'll be removed, and the park will be put back the way it was. In the meantime, however, the three installations - by Charles Fahlen, Peter Hutchinson and George Trakas - should stimulate some thought about the state of contemporary sculpture and the catalytic role of sculpture in public spaces.
March 22, 2004 |
Let me set the scene. You're sitting in traffic with your 4-year-old. Suddenly you notice she's watching with rapt interest something in the next car. You glance over and realize that the other vehicle is equipped with one of those DVD screens that are available on certain late-model cars. The option is usually marketed as a way of keeping kids quiet on long road trips. But what the folks over there are watching is more loin king than The Lion King. Because there onscreen, before your daughter's steadily widening eyes, is a pair of exceedingly fit people using their private parts in ways the child never imagined they could be used.