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  #41  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2009, 11:39 PM
Plokoon11 Plokoon11 is offline
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THe bridge is fancy and modern but it could of been better. Some cities have small triangle art designs like suspension bridges have, they could of did something with that.
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  #42  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 12:17 PM
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I agree this bridge could have been better designed. Ah well. At least now we have some serious ammo to get the PPA to actually hire somebody who does awesome bridges when they're done this project, to rebuild the those '50s-era bridges they put up when the Expressway was built (and whose reconstructions are next)...

In the meantime, here is a good new render of the boardwalk section of the Schuylkill River Trail, from Plan Philly:
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Next Up For the "Hidden River":

The Schuylkill River Development Corp. “has unveiled the conceptual design of the boardwalk it plans to build between Locust Street and the South Street Bridge,” according to the Alliance Web site, where you can see a slide show of a Nov. 17 presentation. The boardwalk, extending 50 feet into the river, would have a concrete surface, 15 feet wide and four to nine feet high off the water, depending on the tide.
The SRDC has so far raised $4 million of the $10 million needed for construction.

There are bigger plans in the works, too.

“They have set their sites on creating the region’s first green transportation corridor,” said Stuart. “There are several sections of the park starting in the Southwest ... to Fort Mifflin, and then our little piece where the park ends now, at Locust Street, down to South Street, then all the way down to Bartram’s Garden. Going north, there are pieces that are missing around Manayunk and into Montgomery County.

“All together it’s eight sections, it would be $20 million and we think there would be a whole lot of people that would benefit if we can get these projects funded within the next year, with the next [federal] transportation bill.”
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 2:22 PM
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"UP river"

The fish ladder is looking complete at the Waterworks dam. The parking regulations were updated along Boathouse Row...
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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 8:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
I agree this bridge could have been better designed. Ah well. At least now we have some serious ammo to get the PPA to actually hire somebody who does awesome bridges when they're done this project, to rebuild the those '50s-era bridges they put up when the Expressway was built (and whose reconstructions are next)...

In the meantime, here is a good new render of the boardwalk section of the Schuylkill River Trail, from Plan Philly:
This is definitely some interesting stuff. Also, Hammer when do you think the other (bland IMO) bridges crossing the Schuykill will be reconstructed?
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  #45  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 8:39 PM
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Or the W lot. Kimpton(?) (Starwood?) was asinine to let that one slip through their fingers, especially since the Convention Center's expansion's pretty much on track for a 2010 opening.
What lot is this?
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  #46  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 8:51 PM
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SCRUB is insane. Clear Channel was going to put hundreds of benches and trashcans around the city. All we had to do was let them sell ad space on them. Ads on trash cans and benches...LIKE EVERY OTHER CITY IN AMERICA. SCRUB put a stop to that so now we still have to walk 5 blocks out of our way to find a trash can and 20 blocks to have a seat.

As for Market East, I'm all for a glowing neon and plasma nexus of consumerism between 9th and 11th Streets. This street was Philadelphia's original marketplace, let's bring that back and turn it into a 21st century shrine to capitalism.
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  #47  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 9:08 PM
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Well, the good news it it sounds like you walk about 5 blocks out of your way to throw away your trash, but the problem is this invites anyone to just throw their trash on the ground because there is not a trash can around!!!! I would much rather see a "Clear Channel" Bench and trash can then litte everwhere! They are insane!
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  #48  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2009, 1:58 AM
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12 and Arch, cross from R Terminal...
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  #49  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2009, 7:31 AM
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Hello everyone its been a while.... but has anyone seen the for sale sign on the parking lot of I believe I wana say 11th and vine...Its posted by PanAm reality...it states hotel development site......
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  #50  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2009, 8:40 AM
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trails go regional



MICHAEL BRYANT / Inquirer Staff Photographer

Lower Merion's assistant planner Christopher Leswing, on the Manayunk bridge, has plans for a feeder trail to connect the township directly into Philadelphia's pathway system - a symbol of city-suburban cooperation.


from here: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magaz...bike_path.html


Apr. 3, 2009

Changing Skyline: Making an urban link by bike path
By Inga Saffron

Inquirer Architecture Critic

Philadelphia and Lower Merion may be joined at the geographical hip, but much has kept them apart - a river, a highway, political preferences, money, and lifestyles. So could something as simple as a bike trail be the thing that brings them closer?

It's beginning to look that way. Captivated by the crowds that jam the recreation paths on Philadelphia's side of the Schuylkill, Lower Merion is readying plans for a feeder trail that will connect the township directly into the city's pathway system. The two-mile ramble will start at the Cynwyd train station and use Manayunk's iconic arched railroad bridge to take people across the river.

Of course, if you're badly in need of a cup of coffee right now, you can easily walk the trail to one of Manayunk's many outdoor cafes - assuming you don't mind stepping through a little mud and chunks of gravel.

The path neatly follows an old Pennsylvania Railroad coal road, cleared of its tracks years ago by SEPTA. When I made the trip with the township's assistant planner Christopher Leswing, we were passed on the Manayunk bridge by the Lower Merion High School track team, which already uses the Cynwyd trail to access Philadelphia's paths.

The crunch of gravel beneath their sneakers is the sound of barriers crashing down. Until Mayor Nutter crossed City Avenue last spring to talk up regional cooperation, it had been a decade since a Philadelphia leader reached out to its wealthy neighbor. His gesture paid off in October when Lower Merion joined several Philadelphia groups to form the Schuylkill River Park Alliance, which will coordinate the region's expanding trail network.

Even though Lower Merion already has raised the $1.5 million it needs to pave and landscape its trail, it supported the Alliance in sending a delegation last month to Washington to lobby the area's congressional representatives for funding. Instead of promoting pet plans, the Alliance packaged nine trail projects in a single $21 million proposal.

For the equivalent of a couple of AIG bonuses, the Alliance argues that it could fill in every missing link - a total of five miles - between Bartram's Garden in West Philadelphia and the Ivy Ridge station in Manayunk, creating a continuous, 14-mile paved trail, with feeders to Cynwyd and the Cobbs Creek Parkway trail. Incorporating the majestic Manayunk railroad bridge is not just a perfect reuse of the 92-year-old span - it's a terrific symbol of city-suburban cooperation.

Bike trails are clearly having their moment. Before the economic meltdown, the paths were viewed as a pleasant amenity. Now, they're seen as a way to create jobs, leverage development, and provide people with access to a forgotten landscape. They also offer an alternative to driving.

While it's unlikely that significant numbers will use the Cynwyd Trail to commute to work, Leswing says he can imagine Lower Merion residents walking or biking to Manayunk for dinner. At the Cynwyd end, the project has already spurred the renovation of the historic, 1890 train station, which will have a cafe and serve as a trail-head information center.

Meanwhile, O'Neill Properties has proposed a 600-unit apartment complex along the trail, on the site of the 17th-century Pencoyd Iron Works, one of many foundries and mills that once lined the Schuylkill. O'Neill's project hasn't been approved yet, and there are some serious questions about its design, but it could ultimately provide a model for waterfront development in Philadelphia, particularly on the Delaware River.

The township is offering to let O'Neill build more densely if the developer agrees to construct the portion of the trail that runs through its property - and keep it public. Future residents would be able to walk to Manayunk in minutes using another old railroad connection, the Blackie Bridge.

The other Alliance members also are hurrying to produce shovel-ready designs. The Schuylkill River Development Corp., which built the popular trail through Center City, expects to start work early next year on the DuPont Crescent, where the riverbank bumps out near Wharton Street in Grays Ferry.

Although the 3,600-foot section won't be immediately linked into the trail, it sets the stage for connections to the West Philadelphia side. In the meantime, the crescent will be lushly planted as a nature park for the neighborhood.

More problematic for the SRDC is the extension of the Schuylkill Banks from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge. Because the bank is so narrow, the SRDC determined that adding landfill would cost too much and take too long. Instead, it decided to build a 15-foot-wide floating boardwalk, which it hopes to finish in time for the bridge's reopening in late 2010.

The existing 12-foot path in Center City can get pretty crowded, but at least it has grassy shoulders to take the overflow. It's hard to imagine how a floating path - with no shoulders - will handle the growing traffic. SRDC's director, Joseph Syrnick, acknowledges the problem, but argues there is no affordable alternative. The boardwalk will have several overlooks where people can pull over if things get too jammed on the path.

It's not the only bottleneck along the 14-mile trail.

The Manayunk Development Corp. is looking to create a bypass at the Wissahickon Gateway, where the Kelly Drive path meets Ridge Avenue. The intersection is an important transfer point for SEPTA buses, and bicyclists and bus riders invariably clash. But the solution could require a new bridge over the creek, as well as the acquisition of private land along the river's edge.

Daunting as it sounds, the Alliance members remain bullish about raising federal funds to complete the nine missing links in the next few years. Syrnick goes even further: He predicts the Schuylkill River Trail will reach the Delaware River "before I leave this job." How long is that? "Give me five or six years," he says.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact architecture critic Inga Saffron at 215-854-2213 or isaffron@phillynews.com.
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  #51  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2009, 8:27 PM
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This is definitely some interesting stuff. Also, Hammer when do you think the other (bland IMO) bridges crossing the Schuykill will be reconstructed?
Chestnut's already showing signs of decay from the perspective the Schuylkill River Park offers, so I would guess that replacements for Chestnut, Spring Garden, and West River together would be called for almost as soon as the South Street Bridge is rebuilt.

And since Chestnut has easily the richest architectural heritage of the late bridges (ever seen photos of Kneass' original?) and Spring Garden and West River have the most unique siting (they cross one another), these are the best sites in the city for a good architect to sink his teeth into.
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Expanded the OP. Added what I could find out about the Art Museum and the Free Library.
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  #53  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Brad put stuff up on the weekend.
From phillyskyline.com:



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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 1:38 PM
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Just a minor point, but has anyone noticed the new landscaping improvements done behind the Art Museum? The improved trail going from the SRT to the newly reconstructed rustic gazebo is a nice touch. There's another newly paved trail that starts at the bottom of the hill as well.

Any word on the skate park?

Edit: I see philadelphiathrives has been there.
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tua21506 View Post
Hello everyone its been a while.... but has anyone seen the for sale sign on the parking lot of I believe I wana say 11th and vine...Its posted by PanAm reality...it states hotel development site......
Is it north or south of the Vine Street Expressway?

There are a lot of parking lots there, it would be nice to see some development...so long as it doesn't take my house with it. I haven't noticed any proposed hotels north of the Convention Center though.
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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 6:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ninjawho View Post
12 and Arch, cross from R Terminal...
The W Hotel proposal, I can't believe they let that one go.
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  #57  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 7:02 PM
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Well, the good news it it sounds like you walk about 5 blocks out of your way to throw away your trash, but the problem is this invites anyone to just throw their trash on the ground because there is not a trash can around!!!! I would much rather see a "Clear Channel" Bench and trash can then litte everwhere! They are insane!
I think SCRUB has lost a lot of clout for abandoning their position as the anti-blight coalition. They're becoming seen as more of an anti-progress organization and aside from a handful of penniless hippies, they've turned off a lot of would-be supporters with the means to fund them.

I have a feeling Foxwoods and the state will be calling the shots on Market East here soon, and given what this should-be hub of commerce has become in the past 20 years, I can't say I'm all too upset about that.
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2009, 7:17 PM
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I think SCRUB has lost a lot of clout for abandoning their position as the anti-blight coalition. They're becoming seen as more of an anti-progress organization and aside from a handful of penniless hippies, they've turned off a lot of would-be supporters with the means to fund them.

I have a feeling Foxwoods and the state will be calling the shots on Market East here soon, and given what this should-be hub of commerce has become in the past 20 years, I can't say I'm all too upset about that.
The old Strawbridge and Clothier is pretty much the best place to put a slots barn in Philadelphia, especially if it's going to eventually have table games. And it doesn't seem to be attracting the amount of NIMBYism that the Gallery locale did.
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2009, 2:44 PM
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Also going on the Compilation Thread:

http://www.planphilly.com/node/8594
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Drexel University was near bankruptcy when the late Constantine Papadakis became president in 1995. But Papadakis thought the small school with a high percentage of commuter students could become an innovative university and a vital and vibrant part of University City and Philadelphia.

Papadakis’ bold vision – much of it defined in a 2007 master plan – is his legacy. The projects in that plan – from its Recreation Expansion on Market Street to the Intergrated Sciences building – have begun taking shape on the campus at 34th and Market streets. Others will continue to unfold over the next decade as the university spends hundreds of millions of dollars on construction projects.

These physical changes will help better accommodate Drexel’s increase in student population, which rose from 4,500 full-time undergraduates in 1996 to more than 11,000 today. Some of these new students were drawn to new academic programs added under Papadakis’ guidance. And more of them are choosing to live on campus – new dormitory buildings have been added. One is currently under construction.



Drexel University with Center City in the background.



President Papadakis “had a vision to develop Drexel University into a first-class nationally ranked comprehensive research university” says Senior Vice President for Student Life & Administrative Services, James Tucker. “Since 1995,” Tucker continues, “nearly a billion dollars has been invested in new construction, redevelopment, renovations, and the fruition of the 2007 master plan that will have a lasting impact on the culture and fabric of the institution.”

Drexel was founded in 1891 by Anthony Joseph Drexel, an American businessman and original partner of the company that is now JPMorgan Chase.

From the beginning, Drexel, originally known as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry had high expectations for his school; its opening convocation was attended by likes of Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison.

Through the years, Drexel has expanded (in the 1960s to the 1980s under the leadership of presidents W.W. Hagerty and James Creese) and seen decline through low admissions and financial crisis right before Papadakis took over in 1995.

Under Papadakis, Drexel has looked to redefine itself both academically and physically through the school’s growth while also creating relationship with the City in a positive way.

Academically, Papadakis strengthened the existing schools and colleges by vastly increasing enrollment as well as creating a new law and medical schools; all in addition to the university’s highly-rated engineering school and cooperative-education program.

Physically, the President wanted to transform its outdated suburban-style campus into a truly urban landscape of higher learning by infilling the campus with buildings of varying purposes.

Alan Greenberger, executive director of the City of Philadelphia Planning Commission and former adjunct professor in Architecture at Drexel, said "The growth of Drexel is a great thing for Philadelphia, and a great thing for West Philadelphia."

Physical changes started to take shape in 1997, with a master plan that focused on four objectives: Creating an identity for the university, establishing better connections between different parts of campus connections, creating unique spaces for its students and faculty, and optimizing the space of the existing facilities. In 2002, the 1997 plan was reevaluated to reflect the University’s growth in its student population and academic programs.

New discussions with input from academic leaders (including deans, department heads, and other faculty), the local residential and business community, Drexel’s university neighbor (the University of Pennsylvania), and the City of Philadelphia informed a new plan for the University. In 2007, this plan for the University City campus, with both five- and ten-year outlooks, was released.

Earlier this week, Plan Philly sat down with Kimberly Miller, Drexel’s director of design in the Department of Planning, Design and Construction, and Robert Francis, vice president of facilities, to discuss the University’s current and future construction projects highlighted in the 2007 plan.

Recreation Center Expansion to the Daskalakis Athletic Center



Current view of the Recreation Center Expansion.



At 34th and Market Streets, the Daskalaskis Athletic Center, more commonly known as the DAC, is undergoing a large expansion. Miller says that “additions include a multi-purpose gymnasium, exercise equipment areas, a climbing wall, and a restaurant.”

The 6,000 square foot restaurant, with the possibility of outdoor seating, will be Landmark Americana, an upscale bar and grill that already has locations in West Chester and Glassboro.

“The $41.6 million expansion,” Miller adds “is designed by Sasaki Associates with Ewing Cole handling engineering and construction administration, and will add 85,000 square feet to the building. The DAC already houses two gymnasiums for basketball, volleyball and badminton, five squash courts, a table tennis area, and a six lane collegiate size pool with diving well.”

The expansion is expected to be finished this winter.



Rendering of the future Recreation Center Expansion.



Integrated Sciences Building



Current view of the Intergrated Sciences Building.



Right down the street at 34th and Chestnut Streets on the site of a former parking lot, preliminary construction of a new $69 million, 130,000 square foot science building is underway. Designed by Toronto-based architects Diamond and Schmitt, the Integrated Sciences Building will be one of the greenest buildings on campus. It is set to include a multi-story bio-filter wall, which, according to Miller, will be the first installed at a U.S. university. The bio-filter wall is multi-purpose as it is improves air quality, functions like a humidifier in the winter, cools the indoor air in summer, and saves money on HVAC system costs.



Interior rendering of the Intergrated Sciences Building with the bio-filter wall on the right.



Drexel is pursuing LEED silver with this project. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification means that a building conforms to a list of environmental standards for design, construction and operation. Silver certification exceeds LEED’s minimum requirements.



Exterior rendering of the Intergrated Sciences Building at night.



Ultimately, Drexel will use Green Globes, an alternate to the LEED certification process. Robert Francis was excited about the switch because Green Globes uses a streamlined, on-line assessment to evaluate buildings. Francis said Drexel will use Green Globes to assess the energy efficiency and effects on the environment of all current and future construction projects.

Francis also highlighted the Drexel Green website - an interactive, virtual space for faculty and students to learn more about their university’s sustainable projects and policies and add input on how to make Drexel greener. Drexel Green, according to the website, covers “all aspects of operations, buildings, academic initiatives, and student life and is responsible for the strategic plan to further sustainable practices and policies.”

Francis said Drexel expects to soon receive a carbon footprint analysis from an environmental consultant. The University will use it to determine where changes can be made to reduce the campuses environmental footprint.



Drexel Park



Drexel Park today.



Near the northern edge of campus at 32nd Street and Powelton Avenue, Drexel is finishing up a 2.5 acre brownfield redevelopment, open-space project known as Drexel Park. Miller says the park will give students and community residents some much needed green space. Originally purchased with the intent to build permanent structures on the space, input from the community forced Drexel to reconsider and ultimately create usable, open space. Miller said the palette was kept simple to allow the park to develop over time. Drexel maintains the option to develop a building on the site in the future.

The park project coincides with 2008 streetscape improvements, including a dedicated bike lane, along 32nd Street. While a dedication ceremony was held in October 2008, workers are still installing additional lighting fixtures and other final details.

Millennium Residence Hall



Construction at the Millennium Residence Hall.





Rendering of the Millennium Residence Hall.



On 34th Street near Powelton Avenue in the residential area of campus, Drexel is nearing the completion of a 482-bed residence hall. Designed by Erdy McHenry, the $42 million, 17-story building will incorporate an environmentally-friendly green roof to insulate the building, reduce heat absorption, and help manage storm water. The residence hall is set to be completed in September 2009.

Armory Basketball Arena and Convocation Center



Current exterior shot of the Armory.



Rendering of the interior of the Armory during a basketball game.

Last year, Drexel agreed to lease the Philadelphia Armory for 50 years, with an option to extend the lease. The University hopes to eventually create a new home for Dragons basketball at the building on 33rd Street at Lancaster Walk.

However, Miller says, that “right now, we have two to three options [on how to proceed with the Armory]. And we are currently looking at the short-term option, which is turning the building into a field house-like structure to address the growing need for recreation space on campus.”

Eventually, she said, the university will renovate the historic building into a home for varsity basketball and a venue for commencement and concerts for up to 5,000 people, while preserving the façade. The recently completed feasibility and conceptual design studies were done by Ewing Cole and Kimball Architecture.

Hotel & Conference Center



Google Maps view of future location of the Hotel and Conference Center located directly to the West of 30th Street Station.

The most ambitious project in the 2007 master plan is the Hotel & Conference Center adjacent to 30th Street Station. No construction start date has been set, but the university plans to build “a four-star full service hotel with 250 rooms, a parking garage with 400 spaces, about 300,000 square feet of office space, and approximately 30,000 square feet retail and restaurant component,” Miller said. The project will move forward, Miller said, “when the market conditions become more favorable.”

Other noteworthy Drexel projects
- In recent years, a formerly vacant lot on 34th Street near Lancaster Avenue was transformed into new tennis courts to replace the old courts, which were located at the current construction site of the 34th Street residence hall.

- Drexel is trying to beautify its campus with various landscape projects along the main walkways. The most visible are the walkways beside the Main Building and the future North Campus mall, a landscaped, pedestrian thoroughfare, in the northern part of campus.

- The Northside Dining Terrace at 34th and Race Streets will bring “national-brand food retail”to the residential part of campus. The $3.2 million project was designed by Erdy McHenry Architects and is set to be completed by September 2009.

- Drexel has the city’s permission to close Race Street between 33rd and 34th streets. The university plans to take this step in coming months, then turn the former street into a landscaped, pedestrian walkway – a step officials say will help unify the campus.

- In January, Drexel was able to purchase the Venturi, Scott Brown-designed building at 3501 Market Street through an anonymous donation. This site will become the home for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design.

- Another big master plan project without a start date: Matheson Hall will be replaced with a seven level, 140,000 square-foot structure for additional classrooms, student lounges and faculty offices for the LeBow College of Business.

- Expanded retail is also in the plan which will be located in front of MacAlister Hall and the Creese Student Center on the south side of Chestnut Street between 33rd and 32nd Streets.
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  #60  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2009, 2:44 AM
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The slideshow had a picture of a Starwood hotel, but I find no mention of it in the article. Was that an alternative to the Marriott?
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