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Old 08-30-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,664,586 times
Reputation: 1658

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Does somebody know the history of why this area became such a dead zone? Specifically, what happened to the old urban fabric there?

You've got Old City to the south, which has largely preserved its old, historic feel. You've got Northern Liberties to the north which has also preserved much of the old fabric. Then you've got this weird area in between which, based on the location and historic development of the city, should kind of resemble the other two neighborhoods- more or less.

Who in the past made what crappy decisions, when did they make them, and why?
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,483,472 times
Reputation: 2774
spring garden street used to run from 5th st (then old york road) to the fairmount reservoir (now the art museum). east of 5th st was dense city just like the rest of the northern liberties. at some point they razed everything and extended spring garden to the river. when they widened vine st, they razed entire city blocks (where the expressway is today was all city at one time). later, the area around front was razed for 95. then more was razed for the commuter tunnel which runs under the red cross building, more or less. then more was razed for 676 to connect to 95.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,664,586 times
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Was all that area in terrible shape? Why the orgy of destruction? They went way beyond what was necessary to build i95 and the Vine Street Expressway and the tunnel. Plus the buildings that are there now are like a crummy old suburban industrial park. Totally wrong location for that type of function.

That area could be and should be prime territory.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:56 AM
 
Location: The City
22,381 posts, read 33,167,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
Was all that area in terrible shape? Why the orgy of destruction? They went way beyond what was necessary to build i95 and the Vine Street Expressway and the tunnel. Plus the buildings that are there now are like a crummy old suburban industrial park. Totally wrong location for that type of function.

That area could be and should be prime territory.

One would think, I think this area would be ripe for a developer to do a large scale mixed use project. I would love to see Tech companies dotted with apartments and restaurants. But alas demand doesn't warrant it, there iu nearly a blank slate on many blocks, maybe at some point not today
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:26 AM
 
2,394 posts, read 3,053,215 times
Reputation: 1976
Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
Was all that area in terrible shape? Why the orgy of destruction? They went way beyond what was necessary to build i95 and the Vine Street Expressway and the tunnel. Plus the buildings that are there now are like a crummy old suburban industrial park. Totally wrong location for that type of function.

That area could be and should be prime territory.
It's not just I-95, all of those roads that connect Vine St., the Bridge, 95 and all the ramps were widened.

It was also en vogue back then to have this sort of light industrial district nearby to support your downtown office core so that whole strip between Vine and SG Street was rezoned. The way it looks today didn't happen overnight. It got ugly through attrition.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,483,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
Was all that area in terrible shape? Why the orgy of destruction? They went way beyond what was necessary to build i95 and the Vine Street Expressway and the tunnel. Plus the buildings that are there now are like a crummy old suburban industrial park. Totally wrong location for that type of function.

That area could be and should be prime territory.
dont know for sure. it may simply have had the misfortune if being just north off cc. it was a much older part of the city and for a time planners thought knocking everything down for roads was a way to improve a city. up until the commuter tunnel opened there was a train station at 9th and spring garden that took you to allentown, reading , and newark nj among other places
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,882,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
up until the commuter tunnel opened there was a train station at 9th and spring garden that took you to allentown, reading , and newark nj among other places
Off topic, but since you brought that up, as of a couple months ago Wayne Junction still had these old directional signs up for "trains to Allentown" and "trains to New York" and the like. Not sure if they are going to make it through the current renovations though.
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