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  #121  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 8:24 PM
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  #122  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 8:34 PM
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What a beautiful building. Such a shame it's gone.

However, this new development is going to be such an improvement over the current turd pile that is there. Bring it on!

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  #123  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 9:41 PM
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Gosh . . . thanks!



No one's ever said anything so nice to me.
Yeah, but I've THOUGHT a lot of nice things about you.
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  #124  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 9:43 PM
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the current turd pile
Such an apt description. That really ought to be in a dictionary of architectural terms.
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  #125  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 11:47 PM
apetrella802 apetrella802 is offline
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destroying old wonderful buildings

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I'm astonished someone allowed a developer to destroy that beautiful old building. That seriously is treason against the urban fabric.
It's a fact of life that buildings have to earn their keep.(Unless it's something like Independence Hall). Even the PSFS building was endangered for a while until it was repurposed as a hotel. At the time Snellenburgs was demolished CC was in decline and there was little or no possibility of renting the space.
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  #126  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 2:19 AM
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Cro Burnham Cro Burnham is offline
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Yeah, but I've THOUGHT a lot of nice things about you.
Yeah, sure. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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It's a fact of life that buildings have to earn their keep.(Unless it's something like Independence Hall). Even the PSFS building was endangered for a while until it was repurposed as a hotel. At the time Snellenburgs was demolished CC was in decline and there was little or no possibility of renting the space.
I understand the Colosseum has long been outmoded for its intended use as a stadium. It should be demolished and replaced with something like 1100 Market. Something more useful.

Seriously, I know you are an advocate for preservation. But I don't buy the supposed free-market laissez-faire mindset in this context.

PSFS, City Hall Annex, Reading Terminal, the Victory Building, Lit Brothers, the Divine Lorraine, and any number of precious buildings (similar to Snellenburg's, Gimbel's, and many others that didn't make it) were this close to being demolished up through the early 90s. Not for any good reason, mind you, except that in that period, they were less valuable than the parking lots that would have replaced them. It's pure luck we got away with as many surviving old buildings as we did. Many - most - American cities fared far worse, as we all know.

That the surviving buildings survived and Snellenburg's didn't was largely arbitrary - not because the surviving buildings met some objective economic criteria for survival that Snellenburg's failed, but more because of the random vagaries of ownership associated with any given property.

That the survival of large older urban buildings was generally so precarious in the post war era is less a reflection of the actual free market value of the buildings themselves than it is an indictment of a system, veiled beneath the misnomer of "unfettered free markets", that generates massive economic distortions 1) through a property tax system that incentivizes speculation, neglect and underutilization of property, and 2) by channeling trillions of dollars of federal subsidies to highways, suburban sprawl, and reliance on cars and parking lots that simultaneously devalued urban real estate and increased the pressure to create urban parking facilities.

Sure, Snellenburg's failed to earn its keep just like almost every other big old building in Center City failed to earn their keep in the post war era. By that logic, we should have demolished them all and replaced them all with parking lots and low-rise piles of shit like 1100 Market.

Personally, I think a better approach in dealing with any large, irreplaceable old building like Snellenburg's - a building that, at just the wrong, short-sighted moment in history, was viewed as obsolete - would be to mothball it and wait until a new use is discovered for it, unless as there is some amazingly compelling alternative use for the site (read: NOT a parking lot or characterless 2-story shoe box).

The short view is to say "it's obsolete now and it always will be". That was the prevalent view in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. That gets you downtown Detroit. The long view, like that of the Romans, is "it maybe obsolete now, but it probably won't be in 10 or 20 years; let's wait and see".

Last edited by Cro Burnham; Dec 12, 2014 at 2:49 AM.
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  #127  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 2:47 AM
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Look at Hudson's Dept Store in Detroit.

It was deemed obsolete about 15 years ago.


http://www.devonakmon.com/wp-content...Hudsons-01.jpg


http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/8f...05258_1965.JPG

It was demolished:


http://www.atdetroit.net/photo/Hudso...hudsonPano.jpg

But it was all worth it: look at what's there now:


http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/wp-...ompetition.jpg

Would have been smarter to have mothballed the place and just waited. What a waste. Right about now, people would have started seeing a real opportunity in that old building.
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  #128  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 3:17 AM
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Back to 1100 Market Street, I will conclude my rant:

The building is so profoundly ugly, I refuse to believe anyone ever actually thought or intended it to be attractive.

The sheet-metal cornice is the rare architectural object that succeeds both at attaining the highest degree of hideousness while being entirely without any discernible purpose.

It's as if the developer was signing off from the city with one glorious, spiteful, final 1970s "fuck all of you" before he flew off to Phoenix or LA.

I can imagine him thinking ". . . hmm, let's see, not only are we going to tear down this glorious old building and replace it with a cheap, banal, characterless, out-of-context two-story slab . . . but, for good measure, and just because I truly despise this city and its people, let's shell out some actual dollars to cap off the cheapness with the most grotesque extravaganza of futile folded metal imaginable; then each day, for all posterity, thousands of Philadelphians will puke in their mouths a little each time they pass it by."

Needless to say, I am thrilled with the new project. I think aesthetically, it will play a more important role, for better or for worse, than almost any building built in Center City since Liberty Place.
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  #129  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 4:30 AM
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Back to 1100 Market Street, I will conclude my rant:

The building is so profoundly ugly, I refuse to believe anyone ever actually thought or intended it to be attractive.

The sheet-metal cornice is the rare architectural object that succeeds both at attaining the highest degree of hideousness while being entirely without any discernible purpose.

It's as if the developer was signing off from the city with one glorious, spiteful, final 1970s "fuck all of you" before he flew off to Phoenix or LA.

I can imagine him thinking ". . . hmm, let's see, not only are we going to tear down this glorious old building and replace it with a cheap, banal, characterless, out-of-context two-story slab . . . but, for good measure, and just because I truly despise this city and its people, let's shell out some actual dollars to cap off the cheapness with the most grotesque extravaganza of futile folded metal imaginable; then each day, for all posterity, thousands of Philadelphians will puke in their mouths a little each time they pass it by."

Needless to say, I am thrilled with the new project. I think aesthetically, it will play a more important role, for better or for worse, than almost any building built in Center City since Liberty Place.
I really don't think you're overstating that last part. I know on these forums the CITC and FMC will get a lot more attention due to their height. But I think this project is more important overall for our city.

Despite the dump it's been for 25+ years Market East is still a major transit hub in this city and one of the most heavily pedestrian trafficked parts of the city. Especially by tourists, virtually all of whom at one point or another walk from their Center City hotel to the historic sites around Independence Hall. Every time I walk past tourists in this part of the city I can almost hear them exclaiming "What the holy fuck is going on HERE?"

This project is going to be huge difference maker in a part of CC that needs it in the worst possible way.
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  #130  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 3:55 PM
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glad to see real demo is underway
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  #131  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 4:25 PM
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I agree with the posts above, this project is a HUGE deal.

I don't think it's a coincidence that now that this project is full steam ahead, we are hearing rumblings about the Gallery renovation beginning early 2015.

At the very least, this project is going to transform a horrid block--at it's best... this project may be the fire starter that motivates PREIT to get off their asses and Goldenberg to push forward with 8th and Market.
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  #132  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 9:59 PM
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More on the demo from Curbed Philly



http://philly.curbed.com/archives/20...s-underway.php
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  #133  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 3:22 PM
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Article on the demo from Naked Philly

http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phill...rket-is-coming
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  #134  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 3:52 PM
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Article on the demo from Naked Philly

http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phill...rket-is-coming


Wait, when and why did they ever take that median out? I feel like that's something we'd want to be putting in these days.
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  #135  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 4:33 PM
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Wait, when and why did they ever take that median out? I feel like that's something we'd want to be putting in these days.
The median serves no aesthetic purpose. If they landscaped it or did something interesting, maybe. I see no aesthetic need for a hunk of cement. I suppose it is functional, though.
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  #136  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2014, 4:46 PM
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The median serves no aesthetic purpose. If they landscaped it or did something interesting, maybe. I see no aesthetic need for a hunk of cement. I suppose it is functional, though.
I was thinking more in terms of traffic calming and pedestrian safety (where they have an island in the middle of the street). Not aesthetics, but important.
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  #137  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2014, 4:18 PM
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im now almot right across the street from this site so I can watch the progress almost daily. The demo is definitely progressing in a very deliberate manner- its going to take a a while at current rate.
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  #138  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2014, 4:25 PM
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im now almot right across the street from this site so I can watch the progress almost daily. The demo is definitely progressing in a very deliberate manner- its going to take a a while at current rate.
Also being right across the street I'll be keeping an eye out for you
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  #139  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2014, 4:42 PM
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Also being right across the street I'll be keeping an eye out for you
That makes three of us... looks like it'll be a race to post updates.
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  #140  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2014, 4:47 PM
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That makes three of us... looks like it'll be a race to post updates.
I'll be posting updates on the three of you, which will keep me too busy to post updates on the actual project.
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