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February 12, 2009

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Louis Kahn’s Esherick House added to historic register

Louis Kahn’s Esherick House as seen from the garden. The round brick patio, designed by landscape architect Frederick Peck, has become a defining feature of the property. (Photo by Bill Whitaker)

At the January meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, Louis Kahn’s Esherick House was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Locally regarded as one of the architectural treasures of Chestnut Hill, drawing visitors from around the world, the house was commissioned by Margaret Esherick, niece of well-known master craftsman Wharton Esherick. It is one of only 20 private homes designed by Kahn, of which only nine have been built, giving it exceptional importance as a realized example of the architect’s work.


Court backs Woodmere plans; neighbors to appeal

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas last week settled a long-running legal dispute between the Woodmere Art Museum and the North Chestnut Hill Neighbors Association, permitting the museum to proceed with plans to build a 25,000-square-foot addition.


Pew Trust poll says Mayor Nutter popular in Northwest Philadelphia

Nutter with (from left) CHCA president Tolis Vardakis, CHBA main street manager Fran O’Donnell and CHBA president Greg Walsh. (Photo by Joel Hoffmann)

A Feb. 5 public opinion poll suggests that a majority of Northwest Philadelphians hold Mayor Nutter and the city in high regard, but Northwest residents are more ambivalent about the city’s future.

Compiled by the Philadelphia Research Initiative, a subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts, the poll found that 67 percent of Northwest Philadelphians have a favorable opinion of the mayor, 65 percent see the city in positive terms and 45 percent believe the city is heading in the “right direction.”

The responses were part of a larger survey of 1600 Philadelphians, who were contacted by phone — 1200 by landline and 400 by cell — between Jan. 2 and Jan. 19.


Restoration project to begin at Allen Lane rail station

The pedestrian overpass at  Allens Lane station will be restored as part of a $7 million upgrade. (Photo by Joel Hoffmann)

Although the 21-month restoration of the Allen Lane R-8 regional rail station begins this month, SEPTA expects “no significant service delays” for the nearly 3,600 commuters who board at that station each week.

According to a Nov. 20, 2008, report prepared for SEPTA by TranSystems and Hunt Engineering Company, track outages will occur when trains do not typically run.

During the workweek, single-track outages are anticipated between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. while double-track outages may occur between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. On the weekend, single-track outages are anticipated between 1 a.m. on Saturday and 5 a.m. on Monday while double outages may occur 1 a.m. on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Monday.

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