August 5, 1990 |
Six years ago, developer Willard G. Rouse 3d plunged Philadelphia into an identity crisis when he announced his intention to transgress the city's informal height limit and construct two buildings taller than the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. The most visible result of this decision is on the skyline, where there are half a dozen buildings, either completed or substantially so, that can look down on the recently reconstructed tower of City Hall. Indeed, the controversy helped Philadelphians focus on the tower and statue, which were seen to be crumbling and requiring attention.
June 14, 2000 |
Brian Lathrop, a 36-year-old skateboard enthusiast, told City Council members yesterday that unless Philadelphia provided suitable alternatives, there would be no way to keep skateboarders out of public parks. But Councilman Michael Nutter is proposing a means for police to rid all public property of the high-flying, fast-riding skateboarders - confiscate their wheels. Yesterday, six out of seven Council committee members agreed. Next, the full Council will take up the issue before members break for summer recess.
March 2, 2005 |
Any visitor to the Supreme Court can see it, high above the red velvet drapes and marble columns in the justices' august courtroom: a depiction of Moses, carrying the Ten Commandments. One might think the presence of Mosaic law in the nation's highest court would give lift to arguments that there is nothing wrong with the commingling of church and state. Today, when the court hears two blockbuster cases challenging Ten Commandments monuments at the Texas Capitol and in two Kentucky courthouses, the justices will be confronted with briefs that cite the high court's depiction - and the nation's history - as proof that wedded images of church and state are just fine.
February 6, 2004 |
A mere seven months after its splashy debut onto the casino scene, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has decided it's time for more. The casino announced this week it would start formal planning on a 500,000-square-foot expansion - a 20 percent increase in the public areas of the mammoth 2,002-room, four-million-square-foot casino in the city's Marina section. Bob Boughner, chief executive officer of the fabulously successful hotspot, yesterday said the expansion would accommodate new restaurants and bars, a "significant" increase in retail, additional casino space, and more meeting areas.
October 10, 2004 |
From the street, Eric Berg's house is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the 1900 block of Delancey Place. But when you walk through the front door and head up the stairs, you come face to face with one of the things that make this house different: Massa. It isn't all that surprising that Berg, whose bronze sculpture of the legendary gorilla has graced the Philadelphia Zoo for 24 years, would have a smaller version of Massa in his house. Berg's bronze menagerie includes copies of Philbert the Pig from Reading Terminal Market, the Drexel University dragon, the Bear and Three Turtles on Fitler Square, the Galapagos Tortoise at the Academy of Natural Sciences, a snail, doves, toads, and a giraffe.
November 3, 1996 |
Bowing to residents who objected to the purchase of land in neighboring Medford Township for a new public-works facility and municipal building, borough officials will delay action until a questionnaire is distributed. The council plans to postpone any decision on the $300,000 purchase of 15 acres at Lenape Trail and Tuckerton Road until its Jan. 23 meeting, said Borough Councilman David Wasson. The council was swayed by opinions expressed during a standing-room-only meeting on Oct. 24, when many residents opposed spending any money to purchase the property.
March 15, 1998 |
On a hot day last July, Bryan Shane Marks, 22, told his mother that he wanted to stop using: cocaine, heroin and marijuana. He called a dozen drug-treatment programs, detailed his addiction to the faceless voices on the other end of the line, and begged for help. One by one, they refused. Some were too full. Others he couldn't afford. One told him that if he was really serious about treatment, he should call back in 10 days. He didn't have 10 days. On July 25, less than a week later, he died of a massive drug overdose.
August 16, 1992 |
Recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court reveal a disturbing paradox in First Amendment jurisprudence. The court has strengthened fundamental free speech protections by several rulings that underscore government's obligation to remain neutral in its regulation of the content of speech. At the same time, however, the court has ratified a different kind of censorship, one based on the nature of the physical area in which persons seek to exercise free speech. This broad discrimination, which limits speech in such areas as airport terminals and shopping malls, threatens the vitality of the First Amendment by failing to adjust free speech principles to demographic and other social changes.
September 23, 2003 |
Recently I took a tour of the new Liberty Bell Pavilion. As I walked through Philadelphia's newest monument I couldn't help but cast a sad, wistful glance to the old pavilion. This small building, much loved by architects and much hated, it seems, by just about everyone else, likely will be demolished when the bell takes up residence in its new home on Oct. 9. After 27 years this jewel of modern architecture may soon be just a memory. For an architect who completed his education at the University of Pennsylvania at the moment of its creation, this is a poignant, yet revealing, milestone.
March 29, 2014 |
Philadelphia spent the last decade working out a single, knotty planning problem: How should the old industrial spaces on the Delaware waterfront evolve? The consensus was that vacant land would be developed to resemble the rest of the city, with walkable streets, a mix of uses, and lively ground floors. No one was naive enough to think such projects could be realized without parking garages, but the expectation was that the structures would not dominate the river. It's a shame the conversation was never extended to the city's other riverfront, the Schuylkill, which has come alive since a trail park pushed into Center City.