March 29, 2013
Here are some of architecture critic Inga Saffron's blog posts from the last week. You can see others at www.philly.com/philly/blogs/changing-skyline . Workplace squatters at Glaxo I went down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard yesterday [March 21] to take a look at the architecture of the new GlaxoSmithKline building, but what really caught my eye were the desks, er, workspaces. Glaxo's new offices are organized around the concept of hoteling, where employees aren't assigned their own desk or cubicle.
September 15, 2014 |
THE COLORFUL images of Fats Waller and Bessie Smith painted on the facade of the Royal Theater reflect a past as a film and musical venue designed especially for Philadelphia's African-American community. The Royal, on South Street near 15th, was built in 1920 and is on the city's historic register. But the building has been vacant for more than 40 years, and nearby residents and business owners have become frustrated as it deteriorated into blight. Rather than becoming an anchor to spark development, they said, the Royal had become an anchor that weighed progress down.
February 20, 2008 |
Snow began falling as afternoon slid into evening. With the lights of Center City twinkling around and below her, Jane Miles stood by the vast expanse of windows that line one side of her new 27th-floor condominium in Symphony House, watching. "The snowflakes look so big up here," she said, more than a little awe in her voice. "With all the cars whizzing by in the streets below, it's like being in another world. " A world high above Philadelphia that, even a few years ago, Miles and her husband would have been very exclusive residents of. But as condo towers grow more commonplace in the city, taller, well-heeled buyers are choosing to feather their nests in the clouds - or as close as several hundred feet above street level can get them.
July 8, 2011 |
When Philadelphia's big real estate developers find a neighborhood they like, they really dig in. Bart Blatstein has made himself the virtual lord of Northern Liberties with factory-style lofts and hip hangouts. Now Carl Dranoff is firmly on his way to becoming the boss of South Broad Street. Dranoff conquered two key corners there during the boom years, with the pink-hued Symphony House at Pine Street and the deco-inspired 777 at Fitzwater, and has plans for a development at Spruce Street.
June 14, 2008 |
Developer Carl E. Dranoff speaks in fluent metaphor. There are the "pearls" . . . that would be the Symphony House condominiums his company built at Broad and Pine Streets and the $70 million "green" apartment project Dranoff Properties is building at Broad and Fitzwater Streets. Groundbreaking on 777 South Broad Street, a 146-unit luxury building with retail on the ground floor, is set for Thursday. Dranoff has his eyes on other pearly parcels along the string of South Broad Street known as the Avenue of the Arts.
April 14, 2011 |
The developer of the Victor Lofts apartment building on the Camden waterfront has put off repayment of a $3 million loan to the Delaware River Port Authority because he's short on cash. The agency lent $3 million to Victor Associates in 2003, interest-free until 2009. The money was part of a $52 million financing package assembled by developer Carl E. Dranoff to convert the historic RCA Victor "Nipper Building" into 341 upscale apartments overlooking the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline.
December 19, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA The sketches were drawn, and the vision of a 47-story, $210 million hotel and condominium in Center City was in place. The developer, Carl Dranoff, said financing would be 95 percent private - the only exception being a block of money from the state. He was also counting on the city's 10-year abatement of property taxes. Then the author of a proposal to slash that abatement warned that he shouldn't count on it. "If they included abatements within their [financial]
February 27, 2011 |
Blue skies and a high of 62 degrees on Feb. 14 were hardly what one would have expected this winter, but they were definitely a treat for Marianne Harris. As director of sales, leasing, and marketing for Dranoff Properties, Harris and her boss, Carl Dranoff, had chosen that day for "the first annual Valentine's Day Progressive Luncheon," to show the developer's buildings in Center City and University City. "I can't believe how lucky we were," she said at the front door of 777 South Broad, Dranoff's newest luxury rental building, which opened March 25. Inside, real estate agents and brokers, many from Main Line offices, dined on bow-tie and tortellini pasta prepared to order, then toured the models, common areas, and fitness and storage facilities.
February 15, 2014
Campfire passions Many think of the soldiers at the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment as being miserable, hungry men wearing ragged clothing and huddled around meager campfires. But many soldiers burned with passion for their country - and for their wives. As 21-year-old Maj. Samuel Ward Jr. of Rhode Island, a newlywed, wrote to his wife Phebe from camp, "The frequent opportunities that offer of conversing with you and the expectation of soon holding you again in my arms makes me very happy.