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LGBT senior housing rises in the Gayborhood

The John C. Anderson Apartments are under construction in the Gayborhood. Housing developments for LGBT seniors were pioneered in Los Angeles and Chicago, now Philadelphia is onboard.

With LGBT seniors facing increased risks of poverty and poor health as well as a higher likelihood of living alone, the need for housing designed to their needs is dire. Cities including Los Angeles and Chicago are responding by building developments specifically geared to LGBT seniors, and now Philadelphia is joining the party, reaching out to several different entities to get its project built.

The six-story, 56-unit John C. Anderson Apartments is now rising in the heart of Philly’s gay village, with hopes of opening at the end of the year. Mayor Michael Nutter, along with Mark Segal — the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and founder of Gay Youth, one of the nation’s first organizations for LGBT teens — championed the $19.5 million project.

Original source: The Advocate
Read the complete story here.

Local cabinetmaker pens business column for New York Times blog

Paul Downs, founder of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers, wrote about his generous employee compensation philosophy on the New York Times' small-business blog.

I don’t want that kind of relationship with my employees, and I don’t want to deal with constant turnover. My people are smart and hard-working and that’s who I want to spend my life with. I’d rather err on the side of paying them too much than have to deal with grumbling and turnover. But if I were running a business where turnover is expected — an ice-cream stand in a summer resort, for example — I’d have a different attitude. I’d be a lot more interested in my own reward than the long-term prosperity of my workers. And that would make sense, for that situation.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the entire column here.

Hacktory profiled as part of nationwide rise of 'hacker spaces'

The New York Times investigates the rise of membership-driven hacker spaces, including the the Hacktory in Philadelphia.

Hacker spaces like MakerBar — where people gather to build or take things apart, from rockets to circuit boards to LED displays — are hives of innovation, real-world communities made possible by the emergence of virtual communities...
But there are reasons beyond additional space that it might be better not to build or tear things apart at home. Laser cutters are prized within the maker community, but they run the risk of catching on fire, said Georgia Guthrie, who belongs to the Hacktory, a hacker space in Philadelphia. “You have to have a fire extinguisher near them at all times,” she said.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation launches new website

Thank to the team at P'unk Ave, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation finally has a top-shelf web presence. 

Normally, a new website wouldn’t be cause for much fuss, but this is actually important. The riverfront is increasingly a locus of activity and economic development in Philly; in fact, it’s probably the section of the city that’s undergoing the most dramatic transformation. When complete, it’ll be a change as comprehensive as the Navy Yard or Northern Liberties.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here, and check out DRWC's new website here


Inga Saffron chides lack of retail at Soko Lofts

The Inquirer's architecture critic Inga Saffron has a powerful reaction to the lack of retail at the upcoming Soko Lofts project in South Kensington.

For all its effort to replicate the Piazza's first-rate urbanism, Soko Lofts misses the crucial lesson of that project. The Piazza packed its ground floor with shops, galleries, and eateries, especially along its primary frontage on Second Street. Though not all have succeeded, their presence tied the Piazza into the neighborhood. They made what was just another behemoth residential development into a real urban place
At Soko, the buildings - bounded by Second, Thompson, Master, and American Streets - would be punctuated by a few token retail spaces. The rest would be long stretches of dullness. And American Street, which should be Soko's front door, would be the dullest.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.

Groundbreaking Chestnut Hill house to be featured in PBS doc

The Vanna Venturi House in Chestnut Hill will be featured in the upcoming PBS documentary "Ten Buildings That Changed America." Newsworks chatted with the current resident.

"I've asked myself, 'Why is the light so wonderful?'," said Agatha Hughes, the current resident of the Vanna Venturi House, aka Mother House. "I think it's because it comes from so many places. Up above you and down below -- it has so many angles and planes to play off of."
Hughes has been living here for four years, having inherited the house from her parents who resided in the house for 40 years. The house is a jangle of odd angles, curved planes, and windows layered against shortened walls.

Original source: Newsworks
Read the full story here.

Metropolis profiles Philly's 'Doctor of Green'

Local sustainability expert Max Zahniser gets some love in Metropolis Magazine.

To give you a better idea of his philosophy, Zahniser will tell you that systems thinking is his foundation for understanding the world. He rejects a fragmented, specialized worldview and ascribes to the dawning “Age of Integration,” anticipated decades ago by Buckminster Fuller and Lewis Mumford. In contrast to healthy interdependence, Zahniser sees Philadelphia as an example of “dispersed environmental initiatives.” His new Sustainability Nexus enterprise aims to pull that all together.

Original source: Metropolis Magazine
Read the full story here.


Curbed Philly highlights the city's most stunning abandoned buildings

Curbed Philly put together this great compilation of the city's most intriguing and breathtaking vacant landmarks. The Divine Lorraine was robbed.

Check out photographer Laura Kicey's amazing shots of the Beury Building:

Dubbed “North Philadelphia’s Skyscraper,” it’s more well-known locally as “Boner Forever,” thanks to the graffiti on its north and south faces. Its art deco beauty is falling apart in front of our eyes despite its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Original source: Curbed Philly
Check out the complete list here.

Vera Wang redesigns Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders' uniforms

Score one for cognitive dissonance: the famous wedding dress designer Vera Wang has been tapped to redesign the Eagles cheerleaders' uniforms. Think she has a lot of experience with lycra?

Original source: Glamour
Read the original story here.

The Washington Post visits the Flower Show

The Washington Post's Adrian Higgins visited the Flower Show, PHS's big annual event, and came away impressed. (Check out Flying Kite's pics from the shindig here.)

Historically, big-city flower shows are like big cities themselves: They either change or decline but cannot stay the same. By all appearances, the Philadelphia show is in the midst of healthy change: Attendance climbed from 235,000 in 2010 to 270,000 last year and is on track to exceed 300,000 this year. The number of competitive entries in a feature called the horticultural court — the horticourt — is about 11,000, and the entrants’ enthusiasm has been rewarded with a new $1 million setting for the competitions that includes a fabric roof and new show benches and display backdrops.

Original source: The Washington Post
Read the full story here.

Olney's Bilenky Cycle Works profiled in short film

Bilenky Cycle Works, the legendary Olney custom bike builders headed up by Steve Bilenky (and his beard), is the subject of a wonderful short film by Bicycling magazine, directed by Andrew David Watson.

Long before the resurgence of "handmade everything" Stephen Bilenky started a career as a custom bicycle builder. 30 years later, Stephen is still creating works of art in his gritty north philadelphia workshop.

Original source: Bicycling magazine
Click here to watch the mini-documentary.

Eight-acre park to cover riverfront stretch of I-95?

An intriguing vision of a waterfront park obscuring I-95 has been unveiled, and could mean a major green space achievement for Philadelphia. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is currently seeking designers and engineers.

A preliminary rendering of Penn's Landing Park extracted from the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, shows a sloping lawn, roughly the size of Rittenhouse Square, through which people could walk from Front Street down to the water's edge, or where they could linger to watch fireworks or concerts. The park would sit on a structure that expands the existing partial cap of I-95, which covers the highway from Front to Columbus, and from Chestnut  Street just about half way to Walnut Street.

Original source: PlanPhilly
Read the full story here.

AIA's Honor Awards showcase sustainable design

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) might not have a specific category in its Honor Awards for sustainability, but the organization's Architect Magazine culled through the awardees to note the greenest efforts of the year. Standouts included the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Perhaps it's possible to read the lack of a sustainable design category for the Honor Awards a different way. Because sustainable design is the architectural obligation that Piano describes, then it's a given that sustainability will be a feature of prominent projects—or it should be a given, for architects and clients alike. Arguably, all of the Honor Award designs feature some green features. Nevertheless, sustainability helped some projects win out in their Honor Award categories more than others. So here is a list of the top projects in part because they emphasized sustainability.

Original source: Architect Magazine
Read the complete story here.

Wall Street Journal details Toll Brothers' foray into condo market

The Wall Street Journal notes Toll Brothers' increasing stake in the national condo market. The Horsham-based company, known locally for its suburban developments before forays into Naval Square and the Loft District, already has ten condo projects under way in New York City. They are scheduled to announce their first project in the Washington, D.C. area.

"Baby boomers are downsizing and getting tired of mowing the lawn, and many are looking for a place where they don't have to drive for everything," said Christopher Leinberger, a Washington urban land-use strategist and partner in developer Arcadia Land Co. "The home builders in this country have been slow in getting into this market, but once they do, they find that it is a large market with pent-up demand."

Original source: The Wall Street Journal
To read the complete story, click here.

PlanPhilly launches new website

PlanPhilly has launched a new website. They hope the fresh, innovative platform will help them better connect to the city's community of planners, designers, developers and residents.

"PlanPhilly gave us a chance to explore the relationships between organizations, issues, projects and people in a way that hasn't been done before," said Tom Boutell, lead developer, P'unk Avenue (punkave.com). "We also enjoyed pursuing responsive design, delivering a great experience across phones, tablets and desktops. Rich content is what we're all about, and finding the right way to showcase the depth and breadth of PlanPhilly's content challenged us in new and intriguing ways. We're also excited about the site's community-powered features, like professional profiles and the ability to submit new organizations for inclusion in the directory."
Original source: PlanPhilly
To visit their new site, click here.

146 design Articles | Page: | Show All
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