July 27, 2008 |
One of my favorite places in Philadelphia was bulldozed last year, and with it several hundred of my favorite snakes. Last week, as I have every couple of months, I returned to the cul-de-sac in the West Side Industrial Park to survey the changes. This time I found a nearly-completed anonymous office building, a large parking lot, and a retention pond. Before the current construction the land had been vacant, once a railyard but for decades a weedy, trash-strewn field held by the railroad and then the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC)
November 14, 1992 |
The severed body parts of an Oxford Circle man were discovered yesterday in sections of Kensington and Port Richmond, police said. The grisly scene began playing itself out about 8 a.m., when green trash bags containing the victim's torso, arms and head were found in a vacant lot on Delaware Avenue near Lewis Street in Port Richmond, police said. That discovery was made by a scrap picker who frequently searches the area. The victim's lower torso and both legs were found about 8 p.m. in the trunk of a burning car at Rosehill and Clearfield streets in Kensington.
June 15, 1988 |
A group of Riverton residents have redirected their interest in foreign policy toward local issues, such as the future of the vacant lot at Broad and Main Streets, which they discussed at a public gathering Friday. The Small Decisions Discussion Group scheduled the public discussion to address development proposals for the 1.33-acre lot, including a current plan to build 20 Victorian-style townhouses that will be presented informally to zoning board members tomorrow. The weed-covered lot, located near the town's commercial center between Freddy's Shoe Service and Riverton's war memorial, is currently divided into three lots, two of which are zoned for commercial use; the third is zoned for residential use. According to Small Decisions organizer Berl Gusky, Friday's meeting at the Riverton library, which attracted 25 residents, was designed to recreate the "old-fashioned town meetings" of New England's past.
October 4, 1987 |
A plan to build a house on a vacant lot in Hatboro was opposed last week by neighbors, who greeted the builder's proposal with skepticism, derision and laughter. Henry P. Jacquelin, a Willow Grove real estate agent and builder, has asked the Hatboro Zoning Board for a variance to build on the empty lot at 101 Crooked Billet Rd. The property is 20 feet short of the zoning code's requirement of a 70-foot frontage. Scot W. Semisch, an attorney representing Jacquelin, said the zoning code's requirements created a hardship that would ban construction on the site.
May 22, 1986 |
Tests will be conducted to determine the contents of about 100 small laboratory bottles that were dumped on a vacant lot in North Philadelphia and whether the materials pose any health hazards, city health officials said yesterday. Officials of the University of Pennsylvania, where at least some of the vials apparently originated, said yesterday that to the best of their knowledge the vials contain animal blood serum and pose no hazards. The vials were among a cache of discarded laboratory materials that was illegally dumped Monday afternoon on a vacant lot in the 2000 block of North College Avenue, near the north wall of Girard College.
February 28, 1991 |
Residents of the Mount Pleasant section of Tredyffrin have mixed feelings about the township's proposal to transform a 2.3-acre vacant lot behind the First Baptist Church on Upper Gulph Road into a public park. The township's Park Commission has proposed putting in a tot lot, basketball courts and picnic facilities but must first get the approval of the Mount Pleasant community, as the property is deeded to its citizens. Some in the community insist this is just the latest effort by the township to seize the property.
August 4, 1988 |
Surrounded by a thicket of brick rowhouses and clapboard twins, peeling paint and crumpled sidewalks, a giant lot in East Frankford has lain vacant for more than two years now. The block-long site, where a dental plate factory once stood, is accessible from three sides. It could be a perfect dumping ground, a magnet for unwanted trash in this, what has been called one of America's dirtiest cities. Yet, against great odds, it remains litter-free. Aside from a few weeds that have grown through the brick foundation and a couple of wadded sheets of paper skipping across the surface like tumbleweed, the place looked one day this week as if it had just been vacuumed.
July 22, 1989 |
A lime-green couch with its jaundiced belly of foam oozing through rust- caked springs. Strewn glass and potato-chip bags. Weed-trees and worn tires. In addition, more than 200 containers filled with trash also were collected from just one vacant lot in the 2300 block of North 10th Street by 10 youths equipped with gloves, goggles and protective helmets. The bags and bulk items were then stuffed into a city trash truck. The city has thousands of lots like this one - about 15,000, in fact - according to the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
June 5, 1988 |
Woodlynne Councilman Mike Sangarlo wore a baseball cap that read: "This is my lay-around-do-nothing cap. " But laziness was hardly the reason for his visit to an overgrown lot in the 700 block of Woodlynne Avenue on a recent Saturday. "We're out here because we care about our community," he said. Sangarlo was among a group of township officials and concerned citizens who, after several months of planning, spent the better part of May 28 cleaning a plot of land on Woodlynne Avenue, at the border between Woodlynne and Collingswood.
January 29, 2007 |
Empty lots are fast dwindling from the American landscape. There were several where I was growing up in Cape May. They were wonderful places because we could infuse them with our imaginations. They were the stuff of our tall tales. The last empty space in Collingswood has been inundated with heavy construction equipment, and I don't have the heart to tell my sons, 5-year-old Kameron and 3-year-old Josh. At the end of our block, where Bryant Avenue hits Haddon Avenue, an office building is going up. I have been trying to divert my sons' attention whenever we walk by it. The lot had been the domicile of one of my sons' favorite yarns.