Dancers drifting on paddle boats, acrobats hovering over the river, and before that, to kick off the day, a drum line and a procession of people. It's part of the Schuylkill River Arts Festival Saturday August 29th from 2-8pm. It will be a celebration of art, community, and our connection to our rivers and water sources, called Invisible River.
This marks the third year the Invisible River celebration will be held along the Schuylkill. Funded by the Knight Foundation, the mission is to improve the stewardship of our local rivers through engaging, artistic, and innovative community programming.
52nd Street in West Philly has been a commercial hub for many years. It's a street lined with various retailers, as well as street vendors hawking cell phone cases, clothing, and hats. Now some of the faded dull gray parking meters on the corridor, some broken, many with chipped paint, will be transformed into works of art.
"It turns a dated object into a work of art," said Akeem Dixon, 52nd Street Commercial Corridor Manager. Funded by LISC, 10 of 56 meters will be designed to highlight the rich history of the community, while the remaining 46 will display the 52nd Street logo and provide for a uniform theme throughout the commercial corridor. Around the city you'll see similar patterns, like along the Baltimore Avenue corridor, or the rainbow flags around 11th and 12th Streets along Spruce and Pine. Submissions were due by August 10th and the project is slated to begin this October. According to Dixon, in addition to the local historic and artistic element—TEC asked that artists have a connection with West Philly— this will also create some jobs.
For a narrow block with homes on only one side, the 1900 block of Alter Street has seen quite a bit of change in recent years. Perhaps the biggest change occurred about three years ago, when a row of five new construction homes replaced a vacant lot. Remember, across the street from those homes there's a cool mural that makes a warehouse wall resemble row homes if you look at it quickly. Also, Greenstreet Coffee Roasters has their roasting facility on the north side of this block, which is why the area sometimes smells like roasting coffee.
Looking east on the 1900 block of Alter St.
Newer homes on the south side
Two more vacant lots are now on the outs on this block, at 1902 and 1904 Alter St.
Earlier this week we were in the mood for a crepe, and we decided that a visit was in order to the Creperie at Temple food truck on the 1200 block of Norris Street. On this lunch-seeking mission, we were unaware of two things. First, classes have started at Temple and the campus is now crawling with undergrads. Not such a big deal, but it made for a longer than expected line at the food truck. Perhaps more relevant for a real estate blog, we also noticed that Barton Hall is getting torn down.
Corner of 13th & Norris
Looking down 13th Street
Middle of the building
Plans for the demolition of this building, constructed in 1959, have been in the works for some time. This makes us wonder why the demolition effort couldn't have happened over the summer, before the students came back to campus. For the next few weeks, as this building comes down, passing by will be rather unpleasant, between the noise and the dust. As it was, waiting on line for a crepe half a block away wasn't a treat.
The 700 block of N. 19th St. has changed some in recent years, with developers demolishing one-story homes built by PHA in the 1980s and replacing them with modern buildings. Most recently, we told you about some demolition on this block, and plans for a six-unit building. That project, at 742 N. 19th St., has progressed nicely since the winter.
Six-unit building under construction, new duplex nearby