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July 09, 2004


I realy do not beleive the error is yours. After all, the lighting of the photo makes it look like a rendering and I am sure this is exactly what Inga hoped for. It would have been very easy to identify the building and probably something that should be done in the context of the article -after all I have little doubt that most people think it represents the imagination of an profit driven developer for a possible gambling hall. As for the building, it is certinaly not attractive, but it is as urban as anything in the city. Point in this is that architectural granduer and creativity does not often lead to great urban spaces -it in fact may add to the destruction of urbanism. After having just graduated from PLanning school and being in close proximity to architects in training, I often could help but think that many of their projects made for good sculpture, but American cities were very lucky these were merely school projects... Anyway, check out the corner. The Philadelphia Gas works has a storefront in the middle of the block on Chestnut. The tall building in the background is the Girard building. I know all this silly stuff becuase I walked by these structures every day for a couple of years.


You may be right about the illustration, George. I'll have to go to that intersection and confirm. If it is an existing building, then the error is mine, not Inga Saffron's -- though the article was a bit vague about the photo/illustration.

Why don't they dig a big hole at 8th and Market and put the casino there? Like a Disney for adults...

While there maybe reason to be concerned about what sort of building gets built for slots, we probably do not need to despair. While Philadelphia's street vitality is not up to NYC, it is certainly not worthless and any developer who would submit a proposal to build slots would without doubt, do so in a way that incorporates the street. Will there be parking?? In all likely hood, yes. But for a developper to ignore several of the greatest assets of market street (lots of pedestrians, lots of transit, convention center) would be to throw dollars down the drain... My main reason for writing though, is to point out the building which Inga so carefully chose to use in her illustration is not a rendering or a possible slots parlor. It actually exists on Chestnut Street, between 11th and 12th. The picture (yes that is a real picture) in the article is looking northeast on the corner of 12th and Chestnut. Let us not be let Inga scare us by using a little slight of hand...

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