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Tag Archives | Facade

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Mamma Maria adds a la carte menu, gelato shop

Mamma Maria, the red gravy stalwart that has been serving a prix fixe menu at 1637 E Passyunk Ave. for 21 years, has finished renovating and added an additional a la carte menu. Plus, there’s a new little gelato shop that will stay open until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The lounge seating outside is new too

The lounge seating outside is new too

The standard prix fixe menu, at $55 a head including free wine and after-dinner limoncello, will still be offered in one half of the dining room. But in the other half, owners Maria DiMarco (Mamma) and her daughter Paola Chiavatti are now offering elements of that feast on an a la carte basis, plus a selection of sandwiches and other smaller bites (see the full menu below).

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Passyunk Square 

PARC facade program finally is getting going & B2 is first up

Waaaay back in August, we told you that the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation was embarking on a facade improvement program to spruce up several buildings on the avenue. Work was supposed to commence in September.

Well, that didn’t quite happen, but at long last the first project is finally getting started at B2 at Passyunk and Dickinson. So no, the wood you may have seen over the windows at B2 did not mean the coffee shop was closed. They’re open during renovations, and it looks like it’ll be nice:

Rendering provided by Graham Bailer Architecture

Rendering and “befores” provided by Graham Bailer Architecture

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Facade program renderings begin to trickle out

Remember that facade improvement program we told you about in August? Well, hopefully, you don’t remember that we said it would start in September. But Sam Sherman at the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, which is spearheading the program, has given us the first two renderings, and he now says he hopes work on Sermania Jewelers will start before the end of the year.

The Avenue Cheese shop should start in early spring, and Sherman said work on all of them, including Mamma Maria, B2 and Today’s Styles, should be finished by spring.

Check out the promising afters:

Don’t those curious rendering people look so glamorous?
You won’t even recognize it

Graham Bailer of Graham Bailer Architects said the cheese shop will have a weathered, rusted metal facade with what’s called Core 10 Steel.

And the hideous befores:

Aaaah!
Oh, God!

For a little refresher…

Here’s how the program works: Building owners are applying in tandem to an existing city-sponsored facade improvement program that pays up to $8,000 for mid-block buildings and $12,000 for corner properties. But a complete façade renovation is often cost prohibitive because it could run $25,000 or more for larger buildings. So, the building owners chip in a percentage of the total renovation budget, add their contribution to the city funding, and PARC covers the remainder.

And for pics of the other befores, click here. Sherman said in August that this could only be the first phase of a multiyear program, which could mean some serious changes over time for the avenue. Sweet.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

PARC facade program starts in Sept. with 5 businesses

Starting in September, you’re gonna see a whole lotta scaffolding going up on the Avenue. PARC executive director Sam Sherman said that his nonprofit will be contributing $100,000 toward a new facade improvement program of avenue businesses. The first will be Mamma Maria, followed by Sermania Jewlers, B2, Avenue Cheese and Today’s Styles.

Yikes! Hideous

Here’s how the program works: Building owners are applying in tandem to an existing city-sponsored facade improvement program that pays up to $8,000 for mid-block buildings and $12,000 for corner properties. But a complete façade renovation is often cost prohibitive because it could run $25,000 or more for larger buildings. So, the building owners chip in a percentage of the total renovation budget, add their contribution to the city funding, and PARC covers the remainder.

So thanks to those two extra funding streams, building owners who wouldn’t be able to pay for a complete reno get better looking storefronts and neighbors don’t have to look at crappy, crumbling stucco. Everybody wins, especially since the renovations will take care of some of the ugliest properties. We’re looking at you, Avenue Cheese Shop.

Architects are meeting now with the building owners. PARC gets input through the end to ensure that the final product is up to the standards of the recent renovations of their own buildings. Remember what the South Philly Comics building used to look like, with that weird purple gate?

The hope is to get the first five finished by the end of the year, then renovate five more per year. That’s right, Sherman’s thinking long-term. Way to go, sir.

Check out all these before shots, imagine them in black and white in an infomercial:
Of all of them, this is the least in need
I wonder what the name is
Rusted sign
This whole behemoth is getting the PARC treatment, thank god
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