Gehry on his Philadelphia Museum of Art commission and his future nautical plans

New space in the museum. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

New space in the museum. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

When Frank Gehry’s renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is complete, the iconic institution won’t necessarily look like one of his signature works—at least from the outside. The architect isn’t touching the icon’s Beaux-Arts exterior, but is, instead, transforming the museum’s interior to improve circulation and boost gallery space. But even then, Gehry’s work won’t be all that “Gehry.” AN recently toured the museum’s exhibit on Gehry’s masterplan and got a chance to hear from the man himself about the museum renovations.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philadelphia Expected to Launch Bikeshare System Next Spring

A painted bike lane in Philadelphia. (Flickr / karmacamilleeon)

A painted bike lane in Philadelphia. (Flickr / karmacamilleeon)

With a recent vote in the Philadelphia City Council, bikeshare moves closer to becoming a reality in the City of Brotherly Love. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the council’s Transportation and Public Utilities Committee advanced a bill to bring bikeshare to the city by next spring. The bill is expected to be approved by the full city council on June 19.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Pictorial> Art Installation Transforms Philly’s Amtrak Corridor With Vibrant Color

The Drama Wall. (Courtesy Mural Arts Program)

The Drama Wall. (Courtesy Mural Arts Program)

An art installation along Philadelphia’s Northeast Amtrak corridor is adding some color to the travel experience for 34,000 daily riders. Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse has been commissioned by the city’s Mural Arts Program to transform seven sites alongside the tracks with vibrant (and environmentally friendly) coats of paint: Orange and white streak across a warehouse, green and white do the same on an abandoned brick structure, and hot pink cover brush and boulders.

Continue reading after the jump.

Exclusive> Take a Look Inside Philadelphia’s Divine Lorraine Hotel

(Henry Melcher / AN)

(Henry Melcher / AN)

For the past 15 years, the Divine Lorraine Hotel in Philadelphia has been sitting vacant at the corner of Broad and Fairmount. The 10-story building, which opened in 1894 as luxury apartments, was once a towering symbol of wealth. Today, it is a graffiti-covered shell of its former self—but that could soon change. A local developer is finalizing plans to bring the building back to life. Before that happens, AN was allowed insideand on top of—the Divine Lorraine to see the space in all its tagged and gutted glory.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philly’s Divine Lorraine Hotel Coming Back to Life

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

The decaying Divine Lorraine. (Flickr / Vandalog)

One of Philadelphia’s most impressive old ruins might be coming back to life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a New Jersey real estate lender is providing  $31.5 million to convert the decaying Divine Lorraine hotel into luxury apartments and commercial space. This is not the first attempt to transform the Lorraine, but it just might be its best.

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On Second Try, Robert Stern’s Proposal for Philly’s American Revolution Museum Approved

Development, East, Newsletter
Monday, April 7, 2014
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Stern's new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Stern’s new plan for the museum. (Courtesy NC3D for Robert A.M. Stern Architects)

Weeks after the Philly Art Commission slammed Robert Stern’s proposal for the Museum for the American Revolution, he’s back with a new design. And good news for the starchitect—the commission likes it. They really, really like it. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the new plan was unanimously approved and building permits should be issued in the next few months. Unsurprisingly, Stern‘s altered design does not include the features, which the Commission called “Disneyesque.”

See the old design after the jump.

Philadelphia Green Lights New Riverside Park, Bartram’s Mile

Bartrams Mile1

(Courtesy Andropogon)

Consider it a mile-long step in Philadelphia’s ongoing architectural renaissance. Local landscape firm Andropogon recently received approval for the plans to re-work a vacant stretch of land beside the western banks of the tidal Schuylkill River. The goal is to convert the plot located between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street into public green space that provides riverfront access and recreational opportunities for local residents.

More after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Northern Liberties Ascendant

East, Letter to the Editor
Thursday, March 6, 2014
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The Piazza at Schmidt's by Erdy McHenry Architecture. (Courtesy Erdy McHenry Architecture)

The Piazza at Schmidt’s by Erdy McHenry Architecture. (Courtesy Erdy McHenry Architecture)

[ Editor's Note: The following is a reader-submitted response to a recent feature article, "City of Designerly Love." It appeared as a letter to the editor in a recent print edition, AN03_03.05.2014. 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]

As president of Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, I was pleased to see William Menking review our city’s innovative architectural scene (“City of Designerly Love,” AN 14_12.04.2013).

Yet I was surprised to see my community dismissed as the “troubled surrounding neighborhood” of the Piazza, a large mixed-use development anchored by a central plaza.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philly Art Commission Pans Stern’s Revolution Museum Design as “Disneyesque”

Stern's Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution.  (Rendering NC3D.)

Stern’s Panned Proposal for The Museum of the American Revolution. (Rendering NC3D.)

Philadelphia might be the City of Brotherly Love, but it’s not showing any affection for Robert A.M. Stern these days. According to Philly.com, the city’s Art Commission is  “deeply dissatisfied” with the architect’s proposal for the new Museum of the American Revolution. The newspaper’s critic, Inga Saffron, reported that “the commission asked the architects to remove a Disneyesque cupola, add eye-level windows on Chestnut Street, and reconsider the building’s composition.” It’s not quite the shot heard around the world, but, “Disneyesque cupola!?” The Philly Art Commission pulls no punches.

Continue reading after the jump.

Penn-ultimate? Never! Norman Foster’s Superstitious Plans for Philly

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, February 6, 2014
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Rendering of Norman Foster's new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Rendering of Norman Foster’s new skyscraper on the Philadelphia skyline. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

In life, by all accounts, William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, was a good man. In death, however, this portly, English-born idealist has turned nasty—if the good sports fans of Philadelphia are to be believed. But Norman Foster has a plan to appease the spirits.

Get the whole story after the jump.

Review> The Philadelphia Museum of Art Explores the Art & Architecture of Fernand Léger

Art, East, Review
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger’s “The City,” 1919. (Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Fernand Léger is famous for his colorful paintings, many of which feature machine-like forms. He was also at the center of Paris’ avant-garde in the 1920s, not only in painting, but also in graphics, set and costume design, film-making, and architecture.

That is the thesis of Anna Vallye, curator of this fall’s major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis, inspired by the museum’s Léger masterpiece, the monumental 1919 painting, “The City.”

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> “Marc Newson: At Home” Opens on November 23 at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

East, On View
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Lockheed Lounge, 1988. Designed by Marc Newson, Australian, born 1963. Riveted aluminum, fiberglass, rubberized paint (Photography Karin Catt / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Nearly three decades after he was launched into design stardom by his biomorphic, aluminum Lockhead Lounge (above), famed Australian industrial designer Marc Newson will soon receive his first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Marc Newson: At Home” will collect furniture, clothing, appliances, and Newsons’ 021C Ford concept car within a mock, six-room home in the museum’s Collab Gallery. Gathered from collections across Europe, Japan, and the United States, in addition to Newson’s personal cache, the objects on display will highlight the various facets of the designer’s distinctive style of flowing lines, bulbous forms, bright colors, and industrial references which helped to define an era of industrial design. The exhibition opens November 23rd and runs until April 20, 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

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