30th Station District Plan. Credit: SOM

Revisiting Visionary Plans for a 30th Street Station District Plan Supertall in University City, West Philadelphia

Several years ago, plans have been revealed for a major megadevelopment to be built on a new deck above the Amtrak railyard on the banks of the Schuylkill River in University City, West Philadelphia. The project is called the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, as the first phase includes restoration of the historic 30th Street Station. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and developed by Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia, the master plan shows a large number of high-rises and a supertall skyscraper that would become the tallest, or one of the tallest, buildings in the city.

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A New High-Rise May Be Coming to 600 South University Avenue in University City, West Philadelphia

Demolition is nearly complete at a three-story budget motel at 600 South University Avenue (also known as 600 University Avenue) in West Philadelphia. Located directly on the Schuylkill River waterfront near the southernmost point in University City, the hotel was built in the postwar period and was once geared toward University of Pennsylvania visitors, and was later converted into a prison halfway house and was at times described as a “hot sheets” motel. The facility was eventually shuttered and the structure has stood vacant for years. However, Philly YIMBY’s site visit last weekend revealed that the building has almost been reduced to a pile of rubble. Given its generous zoning and location at a major university, medical, and office hub, the site may be slated for a large, and possibly high-rise, development.

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1932 North 4th Street. Looking northwest. Credit: Google

Permits Issued for a Three-Unit Structure at 1932 North 4th Street in Norris Square, North Philadelphia

A zoning permit has been issued for the construction of a three-unit residential structure at 1932 North 4th Street in Norris Square, North Philadelphia. The building will rise at the northwest corner of North 4th and West Hewson streets. The filing does not specify a floor count but judging by its number of units and a specification of balconies at the second and third stories, it will likely stand three stories tall. Dorothy Ricci is listed as the property owner and Designblendz Architecture LLP is the contractor.

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Broad Street Station with City Hall. Photo from City of Philadelphia, Department of Records

A Look Back at “the Chinese Wall,” an Elevated Viaduct that Once Ran Through Center City

In the late 1800’s, ten city blocks in Center City were converted into an elevated railroad spur that serviced multiple rail lines, connected to the Broad Street Station just to the west of City Hall, near the current space Dilworth Park. A massive train shed stood behind the station, rising multiple stories tall and prominent from many directions. Designed by the Wilson Brothers, the project was developed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and was completed on December 5, 1881. The centerpiece was a five-story Victorian Gothic headhouse facing City Hall.

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Construction Underway at 314 South 46th Street in Garden Court, West Philadelphia

A rendering has been revealed for a 25-unit residential development at 314 South 46th Street as construction begins on the project located in Garden CourtWest Philadelphia. YIMBY shared news of the project in August, stating that permits were issued for the property. Developed by High Top Real Estate, the project includes a renovation of a former church, which will receive a third floor as well as an attached four-story addition.

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