July 10, 2002 |
A big coverup is under way at the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. No, not a scandal, but an actual coverup: Workers are preparing to wrap the bridge's Camden tower in scaffolding, which will then be encased, as part of the $100 million project to repaint the 1.4-mile Delaware River crossing. The cocooning of the 380-foot-tall tower is needed because workers will remove every coat of paint - much of it laced with hazardous lead - applied to the bridge since it opened in 1926. "It's a big, dirty job," said Kenneth A. Trimber, president of KTA-Tator Inc., the engineering firm advising the Delaware River Port Authority on the project.
March 11, 2002 |
Three women killed by falling scaffolding Investigators were trying yesterday to figure out why scaffolding outside Chicago's 100-story John Hancock Center plunged 40 floors to the ground during a 60 mph wind storm, killing three women. Still-dangling sections of broken scaffolding suspended by cables from the top of the building had been secured yesterday as crews worked to board up dozens of shattered windows. Glass still littered the streets below. The scaffolding was "swaying around like a cat toy," said Jerome Manansala, who works at a deli inside the Hancock building.
June 8, 2001
With April 1 long gone, Philadelphia Councilman Frank DiCicco must be serious about his proposal for draping the City Hall tower scaffolding with huge banner ads. What is it with him and outdoor advertising? Bad enough, Mr. DiCicco has legislation teed up in Council that would assure Philadelphia's unofficial standing as the city most-blighted by billboards. With backing from Council veterans Joan Krajewski and Jim Kenney, that measure would effectively gut the best tactics for fighting illegal and unsightly billboards.
December 25, 2000 |
A dominant feature of Prague is the Gothic tower of the Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert. That tower is now wrapped in scaffolding because it is being renovated. Temporarily, the scaffold conceals the tower's beauty. That concealment, however, is designed to preserve this beauty forever. Perhaps this scaffolding serves as an analogy for our world, and particularly that of the post-Communist countries. If some of our best features are not quite visible for the time being, it is because the societies are undergoing change, striving anew - this time in complete freedom - to rediscover and restore our true identities.
December 13, 2000 |
Philadelphia's grand center of government is in many ways a reflection of the political culture it hosts: noble, public-spirited ideas whose effect is tempered and sometimes thwarted by fiscal need and political rivalry. Mayor Street has ignited a new burst of optimism about renovations to City Hall, but somehow, the grand building has a way of inspiring dreams that turn into dust: In 1986, scaffolding went up around the City Hall tower and the statue of William Penn. But costs were so high and bidding so cumbersome that the tower was shrouded in staging for more than a year before any work started.
April 18, 2000 |
Lynn Schultz is not at all sure that she wants a half-size version of the Washington Monument, particularly one wrapped permanently in aluminum-pipe scaffolding with blue plastic panels and lighted at night, in what is virtually her backyard. "It's an intrusion," says Schultz, who thinks of Washburn Fair Oaks Park, a two-square-block rectangle of green on Minneapolis' south side, as an extension of her yard. "You want to see trees here, not a tower. " But others think building a half-size replica of the monument, complete with a portion of the decorative scaffolding that covered the original during its recent two-year renovation, is an idea meant to reward this neighborhood, not punish it. "It is an eclectic neighborhood," said Patty Morris, a spokeswoman for Target Corp.
February 5, 2000 |
A quarter-century after it opened, the federal courthouse in Center City will again be veiled in scaffolding as workers prepare to strip off and replace the brick skin that covers most of the 22-story tower. The long-awaited $17.8 million, 18-month project will, federal officials hope, solve a problem that has been getting noticeably worse for six years: loose bricks, some of which have fallen on the building's lower rooftops. No one has been injured, and contractors have stabilized the facade by periodically replacing patches of loose brick.
February 4, 2000 |
Philadelphia may be the city that loves you back, but some tourists may ask, "What's love got to do with it?" when they get a gander at the grimy edifice wreck that is City Hall. The grandiose Second Empire-style building completed in 1901 is a monument to Philadelphia's glory days. Like the city, the building's ornate marble halls and carved figures are gritty and worn. "The building is a civic eyesore," Kevin A. Hammond tells the Philly Whip. To visualize City Hall's former grandeur, visitors and residents must look at the tower and clock topped by the statue of Philadelphia founder William Penn.
January 4, 2000 |
My favorite story from Ed Rendell's just-completed mayoralty remains the time he got the scaffolding taken off Independence Hall for the Liberty Medal ceremony. The nation's most historic building was undergoing repairs in the summer of 1993, and the mayor realized that when the nation tuned in to watch the President of the United States honor Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, the ceremony would look as if it were taking place at a construction site. The Park Service didn't have the money to take the scaffolding down and put it up again afterward, so the mayor got on the phone.
November 11, 1999 |
Five months, 3,500 square feet of pine siding, one roiling storm, and 60 cans of ranch-red paint later, the only covered bridge still standing in Philadelphia has been restored. The Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, or the "red covered bridge," which spans the creek in the Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park between Bells Mill Road and the Valley Green Inn, is still not ready for the public yet, because of some extra work that has to be done. That's why gates at either end of the bridge and a Johnny on the Spot remain on the site.