Naked Philly’s RACP Funding Top Ten Countdown: 5-1

Today we are wrapping up the inaugural Naked Philly’s RACP Funding Top Ten Countdown, after giving you the 6th through 10th ranked RACP-funded projects in the city earlier this week. Our journey today finds us back at some very familiar places, so let’s dive in.

5. River Trail and Marginal Wharf ($2.0m received out of $2.0m asked)
An aerial of the Battery, with the trail extension along the water

Coming in at the fifth spot, we return to the Battery at 1325 Beach St., which coincidentally is right next to the tenth-place entry on our list. Just to the south of the aforementioned barge upgrades, Lubert-Adler will put this $2 million grant towards rebuilding the trail along the river next to the former power station, which is currently cut off to the public once you reach the northern edge of Penn Treaty Park. In addition to repairing the bulkhead and other necessary infrastructure and safety improvements, lighting will also be added to create a safe, welcoming space for bikers and pedestrians.

4. Trocadero Theatre ($2.5m received out of $5.0m asked)
Current view of the Trocadero Theatre

Coming in fourth, with $2.5 million received out of a $5 million requested, is the legendary Trocadero Theatre near the corner of 10th & Arch in the heart of Chinatown. The Troc has been closed for a few years after serving as a burlesque and a concert hall over its long and interesting life. We stopped by here earlier this year, when rumors of another project were percolating, and it will be wonderful seeing the boarded-up building make a triumphant return. The funds will go towards both exterior and interior renovations, including the refurbishment of the historic elements that make the venue so darn cool. Look for a full-service restaurant to be included in the plans as well. See you in the pit.

3. CHOP – Schuylkill Avenue Research Building ($3.25m received out of $3.25m asked)
Renderings show off the upcoming SARB

Number three on our countdown is a project that we reported on just a week or so ago, with CHOP hosting a recent groundbreaking at 2716 South St., where a new tower will rise. The 14-story Schuylkill Avenue Research Building (SARB) will house wet lab space for researchers and will sit directly next to the already completed Roberts Center. The full $3.25 million requested by CHOP was granted, with those funds going to support the construction of their growing riverfront campus.

2. Calder Gardens ($5.0m received out of $5.0m asked)
One of the many gallery areas of Calder Gardens

The runner-up on our list is another project with which we are already very, very familiar. Calder Gardens, designed by world-renowned architect/landscape team of Herzog & de Meuron and Piet Oudolf, will soon join the museum party at the corner of 21st & the Parkway. Acting as a gallery amidst an ethereal garden, Calder Gardens will display the work of its namesake, with a revolving door of his sculptural works to keep the space fresh and lively. The Gardens received their full $5 million ask for this new cultural epicenter, which will also feature a cafe and catering area in addition to gallery space.

1. 2000 Arch – Chubb HQ ($10.0m received out of $10.0m asked)
A rendering of Chubb's future HQ at 2000 Arch St.

And for the top entry of our Top Ten (drum roll please), we make our way to Logan Square, where a surface parking lot is getting a major upgrade. Insurance giant Chubb is building a new HQ at 2000-24 Arch St. to consolidate their business operations and they received a whopping $10 million from this round of funding. This office tower will also offer ground-level retail space, further activating a relatively dead block. While we might question why a multinational insurance company with more than $200 billion in assets needs additional assistance from the state, this capital injection should hopefully expedite the construction for this welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Exciting, right? And remember: this list is just a small sample of Philadelphia projects that received grants, so much, much more is happening across the city than what we’ve covered this week. As we find ourselves saying so often lately, it truly is an exciting time to see the built environment in the city evolve and grow. RACP dollars are only helping in that regard, funding a variety of projects in every corner of the city.