Promising signs for the Reading Viaduct, Philadelphia’s “High Line”

Reading Viaduct Phase One. (Courtesy Studio Bryan Hanes)

Reading Viaduct Phase One. (Courtesy Studio Bryan Hanes)

Earlier this year, AN kicked off its video series with a tour of Philly’s Reading Viaduct, an abandoned elevated rail line that advocates hope to transform into a linear park. The project has been talked about for years, but the pace has really picked up over the last few months.

Continue reading after the jump.

After long wait, Philadelphia’s bikeshare fleet hits the streets

Philly's new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philly’s new bikeshare system. (Courtesy Facebook.com/rideindego)

Philadelphia has become the latest American city to offer a bikeshare system with the introduction of Indego. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter celebrated the long-awaited launch by pedaling around town on one of the system’s first 600 bikes. The program will expand significantly over the next two years.

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Giant Escalator Soon to Improve the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Famed Rocky Stairs

East, Other
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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Famous Rocky Stairs (Courtesy F. Aprile for VISIT PHILADELPHIA)

A new quick ascent for famous Rocky stairs (Courtesy F. Aprile for VISIT PHILADELPHIA)

The infamous “Rocky” steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will soon be revamped with a new 72-foot escalator beginning in spring 2016. The climb to the museum, which was most notably featured in the iconic movie scene with Sly Stallone, is being transformed to enhance accessibility in time for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next July. And more importantly, this overhaul will be completed in preparation for the next Rocky sequel, ensuring that the action hero, at the ripe age of 68, with his creaky knees, can gracefully scale the stairs once again.

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PlanPhilly leaving PennPraxis for WHYY

East, Media, Urbanism
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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(Flickr / tracktwentynine)

(Flickr / tracktwentynine)

PlanPhilly, the non-profit site that covers all things planning and urbanism in Philadelphia, is leaving PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania for WHYY, a public media outlet that brings the world Terry Gross. The site was launched in 2006 and has been reporting on the city’s dramatic evolution ever since.

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AN Video> Tour Philly’s future Reading Viaduct with the designers behind the visionary linear park

The Architect’s Newspaper is introducing a new video series focusing on the places, people, and processes behind news-making projects. We begin with a tour of Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct, an abandoned rail line that advocates hope to transform into an elevated park, a grittier take on Manhattan’s celebrated High Line. With the city and state pledging millions toward the project, the Viaduct park is moving closer to reality. Come along with us for a first look.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention to be held in Philadelphia

East, Media
Thursday, February 12, 2015
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Wells Faro Center in Philadelphia. (Flickr / shinya)

Wells Faro Center in Philadelphia. (Flickr / shinya)

Hillary Clinton will not be named the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as Mayor Bill de Blasio had hoped. No, that will likely happen at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, as the Democratic National Committee has announced that the City of Brotherly Love will host its 2016 national convention. The expected anointing of Hillary will happen during the week of July 25, just days after the Republicans meet in Cleveland, Ohio to nominate—who knows—Jeb Bush? Clinton versus Bush. What a world.

The New Guard: The Architectural League of New York announces its 2015 Emerging Voices

Levering Trade by Mexico's Atelier ARS (photo: Daniel Maldonado)

Levering Trade by Mexico’s Atelier ARS. (Daniel Maldonado)

The Architectural League‘s Emerging Voices lecture series, now in its 30th year, has reliably identified important new talent through a juried selection process. This year’s group reflects a number of important currents in contemporary practice in North America.

Check out the winners after the jump.

On View> Philadelphia Museum of Art shows off design objects by Vitra

Art, Design, East, On View
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
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A plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames. (Courtesy Vitra)

A plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames. (Courtesy Vitra)

 

Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman Building, Collab Gallery
2525 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Through April 26, 2015

In its new exhibition, Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the history of the famous Swiss furniture company from its early licensing partnership with Herman Miller to new collaborations with world-renowned contemporary designers, such as Verner Panton, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison.

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Philadelphia packs its riverfront pop-up park, RiverRink Winterfest, with holiday cheer

Fire pits. (Courtesy Matt Stanley)

Fire pits. (Courtesy Matt Stanley)

Just a few months after Philadelphia’s hugely popular, but temporary, Spruce Street Harbor Park closed up shop, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has opened in its place. The new space, which is open until March 1st, was commissioned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and designed by the New Jersey–based Groundswell Design Group, the same team behind the Winterfest’s summertime predecessor.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pringle-shaped velodrome proposed for Philadelphia

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

The velodrome. (Courtesy Sheward Partnership)

When we talk about cities boosting bike infrastructure, we’re typically talking about adding bike lanes and launching, or expanding, bike share. Building a multi-million dollar velodrome for high-speed, Olympic-style, indoor track racing isn’t typically part of that equation. But it now is in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia and Pittsburgh up their bike game

Bike lane in Philadelphia. (karmacamilleeon/ Flickr)

Bike lane in Philadelphia. (karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

With bikeshare launching in Philadelphia next year, Mayor Nutter is taking significant steps toward boosting cycling throughout the city. NewsWorks reported that the mayor recently signed an executive order to create the Philadelphia Bicycle Advocacy Board, which will advise him on implementing smart bike policy. This would include “[fostering] volunteer efforts that promote cycling and maintain cycling trails; encourage private sector support of cycling, especially among Philadelphia employers; and promote national and international races in Philadelphia to attract the most elite cyclists to compete in the city.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Golden Age of Rail

Denver's expanded Union Station. (Robert Polidori)

Denver’s expanded Union Station. (Robert Polidori)

[Editor’s Note: The following comment was left at archpaper.com in reference to John Gendall’s feature article on multi-modal transit hubs (“The Golden Ticket” AN 07_08.06.2914_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

The original design of all grand U.S. railroad stations fit the architectural design foundation “form follows function.” Unfortunately the years have not been kind to these railroad stations. Real estate developers have coveted the rail yard property for non-transportation development. In some cases these rail yards have yielded to interstates, highways, and streets. This has transformed the depot (waiting room, ticket offices, etc.) into just “a nice old building that used to serve the traveling public.”

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