Meet the Met. The Guys Fixing it Up, You Already Know

North Broad Street south of Temple has improved dramatically in recent years, despite the presence of two enormous blighted buildings. But times are changing. As you're surely well aware by now, renovation efforts are finally underway at the near mythic Divine Lorraine at Broad & Fairmount. And two autumns ago, the Inquirer reported that Eric Blumenfeld, the guy who's fixing up the Divine Lorraine, would likewise be working on the old Metropolitan Opera House at Broad & Poplar. When it opened in 1908, the Met was the world's largest theater of its kind, with a capacity of four-thousand.

In the past

Now, that vision of restoration, held long before Blumenfeld joined the ship, has even more wind, as there are plans for a 3,500 seat venue to be part of the restoration of the Opera House. Blumenfeld will partner with Avrim Hornik of Four Corners, who has his share of venue experience with Union Transfer, Morgan's Pier, and Boot and Saddle, to bring a downtown version of the Tower Theater experience to this historic venue. A Chef's Market and a speakeasy-type of restaurant could also come to the building, along with office space for EB Realty Management. All of this info came to light at a Spring Garden Civic Association meeting over the summer.

Blighted beauty today

With its six high reaching arches standing over North Broad, a restored Met will bring a renewed aesthetic to North Broad, putting new windows where there were boards and filling grand music halls with what they are supposed to be filled with instead of ghosts of performances past. Judging from some of the windows that were still boarded up when we passed by recently, this may be some time coming. But then, so was Divine Lorraine, and that too will soon be born anew. 

Divine Lorraine nearby