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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Milksteak View Post
At first I (like many others) was very bothered that they would be tearing down a portion of Jeweler's Row, it is absolutely a historic part of the city that makes Philly what it is. Then I learned that these properties were never added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places...and it kind of just made me sad. We lag behind other cities with protecting our historic properties, I can't even get too angry at Toll Brothers on this one. They saw an opportunity and and pursued it.

I don't want to see the properties go, but I think the city screwed up here and the developer can't entirely be blamed. As far as the building goes, it's a big 'meh' from me. The ground level looks more like a converted warehouse to me than anything else, not terrible but it doesn't necessarily integrate seamlessly into the neighborhood. If they agreed to leave the facades I would be behind this 100%.
Beyond that the City screwed the pooch majorly by zoning the block CMX-5. They should change that, but it won't have any effect retroactively.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Peggy Shippen View Post
I disagree; I think the tower is half-decent- not anything special, by any means, but not terrible- but the base is just godawful, especially compared to what it's replacing.


Well , since we are posting opinions on something we have no control over ..... I think the whole thing sucks . It just
appears to have the wrong style cladding for the area . Bet some members on this site could do a better job with a
box of legos .
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gonzo the Great View Post
Well , since we are posting opinions on something we have no control over ..... I think the whole thing sucks . It just
appears to have the wrong style cladding for the area . Bet some members on this site could do a better job with a
box of legos .
Toll Bros should ask the Mormons to design it and put an end to all this.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:32 PM
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Regardless of the other various issues related to this proposal I've got to say in general I'm very underwhelmed by this design. As others have pointed out the new street level buildings really don't work within the context of the rest of the block. Would it have been so hard to replace the 3 buildings being torn down with a front that looked like 3 different buildings, even if they were of a modern design.
I would have thought that for their first Philly highrise Toll would have brought their A game, really try to make a statement of sorts. This is not "A" level design.

Last edited by City Wide; Jan 25, 2017 at 4:53 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PHL10 View Post
I think this is all a negotiating tactic. If you look at the podium, they are setting up things to be able to keep the facades. Keeping the facades will be the trade off to defeat all the other arbitrary NIMBY complaints.
Other then the ongoing lawsuit relating to the posting of this proposal, I thought this was a "by right" building, meaning Toll doesn't need to negotiate. They aren't asking the City for anything. Who knows, maybe they would like to go a few floors taller and they are trying to put themselves into a good trading position.

I just realized that on some of the drawings the east end is windowless brick and in other drawings the north window wall wraps partial around the corner on the east end. I really don't think much of this design but the blank end walls really blows.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 5:39 PM
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It's some what of a conscience that the police raided V Jewelers on this block yesterday. They can't close some of these POS stores quick enough.

Just to float another opinion of mine: the blank brick wall sucks

Last edited by TempleGuy1000; Jan 25, 2017 at 5:54 PM.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 5:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TempleGuy1000 View Post
It's someone what of a conscience that the police raided V Jewelers on this block yesterday. They can't close some of these POS stores quick enough.

Just to float another opinion of mine: the blank brick wall sucks
Wow hadn't heard of that. for anyone who's interested here's more info

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...burglary-ring/
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 5:52 PM
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Imo we need to try to stop labeling too many things "historic" that are only borderline so. That being said, this is a "meh" design for sure.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 5:56 PM
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I am of two minds about this render.

As a massing diagram, it is excellent! This is an elegant solution to the massing challenge of integrating a high-rise structure into a low-rise commercial district. I would actually be fine with more buildings of this type on Jeweler's Row so long as they followed this type of massing plan and kept the low-rise commercial district streetscape intact.

As a rendering, this really isn't that good. Ironically, the streetscape -- the part they want to demolish -- is by far the best-designed part of the building. This is more than a little silly, unless Toll Brothers is trying to preemptively curtail neighborhood groups' power over the design -- ramming it through approvals and offering us a turd.

My take: This thing clearly suffers from massively misplaced priorities. The podium is absurdly overdesigned for a structure that would have about the same height as the tallest structure they're planning on demolishing; the tower is likewise underdesigned and shockingly schizoid, betraying a lack of -- even a lack of caring about -- architectural cohesion. This building could actually fit better into the context of Jeweler's Row than most of us had feared, but it needs quite a bit of work to get there.

I would:

1. Design the podium around a façadectomy rather than a total demolition. There is clearly no reason for a complete demolition other than to save a few shekels for a developer known to be rolling in the dough. Stripping the 20th century interventions off 702-4 Sansom's ground floors and extending the 4th floor as a minimalist, highly contrastive curtain wall would be more than adequate to accentuate the rather handsome block of late 19th century and early 20th century commercial architecture.

ETA: The more I'm looking at that faux-1920s podium, the more insulting I think it is.

2. This is a building, not 2towers1core! Design with cohesion in mind. Make both sides of the building speak to each other. 700 Sansom is clearly not going anywhere, and given that it's the oldest true rowhome in the city, should not ever go anywhere. Put windows on that side. Eastward views, especially over the Curtis Center, should be particularly valuable. I don't particularly expect The Bridge 2.0 from a notoriously conservative designer, but compared to this abomination 10 Fucking Rittenhouse is a masterclass in historicist design.

So in sum: the architects figured out how to best mass this building, but for everything else, they really need to start from scratch.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 6:42 PM
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An example of a building that is embarrassed of its own existence. One facade is meant to match the brick historic buildings, the other is glass so that it just reflects its surroundings rather than be a part of them.
I get that they are trying to placate the historicists who don't want this building at all, but they might as well clad the thing in camoflage to hide it.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 6:47 PM
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CDR presentation is on the site now.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 7:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
I am of two minds about this render.

As a massing diagram, it is excellent! This is an elegant solution to the massing challenge of integrating a high-rise structure into a low-rise commercial district. I would actually be fine with more buildings of this type on Jeweler's Row so long as they followed this type of massing plan and kept the low-rise commercial district streetscape intact.

As a rendering, this really isn't that good. Ironically, the streetscape -- the part they want to demolish -- is by far the best-designed part of the building. This is more than a little silly, unless Toll Brothers is trying to preemptively curtail neighborhood groups' power over the design -- ramming it through approvals and offering us a turd.

My take: This thing clearly suffers from massively misplaced priorities. The podium is absurdly overdesigned for a structure that would have about the same height as the tallest structure they're planning on demolishing; the tower is likewise underdesigned and shockingly schizoid, betraying a lack of -- even a lack of caring about -- architectural cohesion. This building could actually fit better into the context of Jeweler's Row than most of us had feared, but it needs quite a bit of work to get there.

I would:

1. Design the podium around a façadectomy rather than a total demolition. There is clearly no reason for a complete demolition other than to save a few shekels for a developer known to be rolling in the dough. Stripping the 20th century interventions off 702-4 Sansom's ground floors and extending the 4th floor as a minimalist, highly contrastive curtain wall would be more than adequate to accentuate the rather handsome block of late 19th century and early 20th century commercial architecture.

ETA: The more I'm looking at that faux-1920s podium, the more insulting I think it is.

2. This is a building, not 2towers1core! Design with cohesion in mind. Make both sides of the building speak to each other. 700 Sansom is clearly not going anywhere, and given that it's the oldest true rowhome in the city, should not ever go anywhere. Put windows on that side. Eastward views, especially over the Curtis Center, should be particularly valuable. I don't particularly expect The Bridge 2.0 from a notoriously conservative designer, but compared to this abomination 10 Fucking Rittenhouse is a masterclass in historicist design.

So in sum: the architects figured out how to best mass this building, but for everything else, they really need to start from scratch.
Great post. As much as I tore into this building, you are correct in assessing that the massing really is perfect for this location. But the design is just so pitiful on every level. For a building to be so bland yet so offensive at the same time is quite the dubious achievement.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 8:18 PM
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 8:21 PM
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Toll Bros. reveals Jewelers Row 29-story tower renderings

Quote:
After eight months of heated debate, zoning appeals, and historic nominations, Toll Brothers has finally revealed its design proposal for a soaring condominium tower on Jewelers Row in Washington Square West.

The design proposal calls for a 29-story tower with 115 condo units and 2,600 square feet of retail at 702-710 Sansom Street. A total of five buildings will be demolished to make way for the residential building.

The developer and designer, New York-based SLCE Architects, presented its design proposal to the Washington Square West Civic Association’s zoning board and local residents Tuesday night, ahead of its scheduled Civic Design Review meeting in early February.

The proposed 29-story tower tops out at about 354 feet and will replace five buildings on Jewelers Row and another on South 7th Street. A majority of the 32 buildings on Jewelers Row range between three and four stories tall.

According to Toll Bros. representative Brian Emmons, of five designs the developer presented to community stakeholders over the past few months, they preferred the tallest height most.

As the meeting came to a close around 8:30 p.m., the zoning committee met privately to vote whether or not to support the by-right project. They will have a seat at the February 7 Civic Design Review meeting, where Toll Bros. and SLCE will present their proposal again.

Depending on the outcome—CDR can ask them to return for a second go—Emmons said they’ll have a more definitive timeline. But construction is expected to take two years, with the first eight to nine months including demolition and building out the core and facade.
http://philly.curbed.com/2017/1/25/1...ers-renderings
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jjv007 View Post
Imo we need to try to stop labeling too many things "historic" that are only borderline so. That being said, this is a "meh" design for sure.
Especially in a city like Philadelphia, where there is lots of real history, I think there needs to be a separate classification that is less stringent and easier to set up than the "historic" classification. Historic classification should require something to be completely saved, while a lesser designation, say, "archetype architecture" would require some restoration/elements of a building to remain in place, but would generally allow for significant alterations to a property with fewer (although still some) hoops to jump through for developers.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 8:57 PM
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I can't wait to hear from Inga.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Groundhog View Post
Especially in a city like Philadelphia, where there is lots of real history, I think there needs to be a separate classification that is less stringent and easier to set up than the "historic" classification. Historic classification should require something to be completely saved, while a lesser designation, say, "archetype architecture" would require some restoration/elements of a building to remain in place, but would generally allow for significant alterations to a property with fewer (although still some) hoops to jump through for developers.
This is an excellent point
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2017, 1:02 AM
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Toll Takes Wraps Off Jewelers Row Tower

Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/property/20...iBCL6uTDMx8.99
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2017, 1:51 AM
City Wide City Wide is offline
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Originally Posted by Groundhog View Post
Especially in a city like Philadelphia, where there is lots of real history, I think there needs to be a separate classification that is less stringent and easier to set up than the "historic" classification. Historic classification should require something to be completely saved, while a lesser designation, say, "archetype architecture" would require some restoration/elements of a building to remain in place, but would generally allow for significant alterations to a property with fewer (although still some) hoops to jump through for developers.
I fully agree with you about the need for more type of historic listing. An example of a less stringent regulation would be on a block like jewelers row you couldn't change the brick openings in the buildings street face, but you could put any type of window you wanted in that opening. That way the guts, the bones of the basic structure would be in tack, but the other stuff that's relative easy to change, could change. The devil would be in the details, as always.
One problem is the City's Historic Commission is very, very small, has almost no budget, and is generally poorly run by well meaning folk. They don't want any more listings or historic districts or blocks. There's almost no policing of the listings the City already has.

All that being said, this proposal remains a big stinking turd. Other then the sad interaction with the rest of the block, and the fact that it looks like the retail spaces are right out of a strip mall (and not designed around having upper floor workshops and other jeweler related space) the tower will just sit there not knowing what it wants to be. But I imagine with the slick sales campaign that Toll runs, this will be a successful project. Boring and successful, probably just what Toll wants.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2017, 2:47 AM
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Renderings For Jewelers Row Project From Toll Brothers

Read more here:
http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phill...-toll-brothers
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