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Tag Archives | Mural Arts Program

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

25 Townhomes Replacing Cabinet Warehouse on 600 block of McClellan

By Sequoia Medley for the Passyunk Post

Say goodbye to this sad view. 6th and McClellan looking northwest. Google Maps.

The September 12th meeting of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s Zoning Committee was more crowded than usual. Neighbors overflowed the available seating at the East Passyunk Community Center. Although another property was discussed, most were there to see the presentation about the redevelopment of the north side of the 600 block of McClellan Street.

…and say hello to these handsome townhomes. CANNODesign.

This much-anticipated project proposes to replace the cabinet warehouse currently located along the north side of the 600 block of Moore Street to allow for the construction of 25 single-family townhouses. Developer Kumas Homes also has plans to build multi-family units on Moore Street, but this presentation focused expressly on the McClellan Street section of the property.

View of the warehouse on the south side of the 600 block of McClellan, looking east. Google Maps.

Future view. Provided by CANNOdesign.
Designs by CANNOdesign show running-bond brick facades with metal canopies over the entry doors. Aluminum-sided pilot houses allow access to roof decks with metal railings. The facades alternate from light gray/tan to darker red brick.

This was the third time the developer met with the community. Two prior information-gathering sessions helped inform the plans presented. As in previous meetings, parking was a primary focus of the discussion. During their presentation the developers repeatedly pointed out design features that were direct responses to feedback from the neighbors, including:

  • Elimination of curb cuts, creating 5 additional on-street parking spots on the block
  • Provision of up to two private parking spaces per new residence accessed by a shared-drive aisle which will bisect the block, running east/west from 6th to 7th Streets
  • No gate on the driveway
  • A dedicated trash room for each residence

View of parking details. Note “Future Development” site along Moore Street. CANNOdesign.

The project requires zoning variances since the developer hopes to create one lot rather than 25 separate parcels, in part to provide the parking in the rear. Owners of these row homes will be part of a homeowners association which will maintain the parking area. A variance is also required since the parking spaces eliminate the required rear yard.
The developer stressed their good-faith efforts to listen and respond to the community since, ‘by-right’ they could make a number of different design choices. One concession to neighbors is the recent removal of towing signs to free-up parking on the block. Although some disagreed with the very nature of the development, many neighbors expressed support for the project.
In response to the desire for more greening, the properties will feature green roofs, as well as planting spaces in the front of the buildings. Developers also agreed to donate land on the 700 block of Emily Street to preserve a community garden used by residents of the area’s Burmese and Bhutanese community.

“Language Labs” mural on the 7th Street facade of the building.

Many neighbors voiced sadness at the potential loss of the “Language Labs” mural by artist Shira Walinksky. Located on the 7th Street side of the property, the colorful mural was completed in 2015 as part of the Southeast by Southeast project. The developer is in discussion with Mural Arts about possibilities of preserving the public art, or creating another work at the site.

A view of the building from 7th and McClellan, looking east, before the mural was completed in 2015. Google Maps.

Practical concerns about debris remediation during demolition were addressed, as well as the potential impact on SEPTA’s 47 bus route.
Although support for the project among attendees was mixed, a majority of those present voted in favor of the project. The EPX Civic Zoning Committee board also voted in favor of the project.
If approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), the developers hope to start work in three to six months. 20-days notice will be provided to neighbors before demolition begins.
This project will go before the ZBA on Wednesday, September 19th between 2pm and 5pm. Zoning hearings are open to the public to advocate for or against the project. ZBA meetings are held on the 18th floor of 1515 Arch Street.
EPX Zoning Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at the East Passyunk Community Center, 1025 Mifflin Street.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

New Courtyard from Old Materials for Southwark School

Southwark School at 9th and Mifflin Streets is gearing up for an exciting redesign of the 9th Street courtyard into a true community space. Since February, Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Restored Spaces Initiative, in collaboration with the Spanish trash-focused artist collective Basurama – which translates to “Trash-o-rama” – has worked with community members, Southwark School students, faculty, and staff, to design and produce furniture for the currently empty space.

Southwark School – 9th Street project area. Credit: Google Maps.

At the beginning of the school year, Mural Arts installed the mural “Weaving Culture” on the north side of the 9th Street courtyard. This vibrant mural was designed in collaboration with Southwark students, parents, faculty and staff.

“Weaving Culture” mural by James Dunn in collaboration with Southwark School student artists. Photo credit: Steve Weinik.

Earlier this year, Southwark parents and neighbors had an opportunity to design the new benches and planters that will be placed in the courtyard in front of the mural. The distinctive feature of the design, and a specialty of artist collective Basurama, is that all of the fixtures will be built from recycled materials, including, very appropriately, old school desks.

The design process has been a real community effort. The meetings, during which several translators were present, have been well attended by a true cross-section of the community found in and around Southwark School.

The final design was presented on April 23rd at a meeting where the community had the opportunity to discuss and vote on the design and the placement of benches and planters within the space. After some discussion and careful deliberation the final arrangement and orientation of the fixtures were agreed upon unanimously.

East side of 9th Street, looking northeast. Credit: Google Maps.

The first phase of the courtyard construction is taking place this week, June 4th to June 8th. While some highly-skilled work will be done by professionals, community members (and others) are welcome and encouraged to participate in the collaborative build. Just stop by the site between 10 a.m. and noon or 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to lend a hand. A second construction phase will occur this fall.

After this week’s build-out is completed, a representative of artist collective Basurama will address the community at Bok on June 11th at 6 pm. Basurama will be joined by Ron Whyte (activist and blogger, Deep Green Philly), Nic Esposito (Director, City of Philadelphia Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet), and Raquel de Anda (artist; Director of Public Engagement, No Longer Empty). Register or find more information about the event here.

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Italian Market ‘Stock Exchange’ functions as public art

Artist Jon Rubin, in collaboration with the Mural Arts Program, is dreaming up public art in a new way. From now through December 7, select businesses in the Italian Market will be collaborating by exchanging items to sell in each other’s stores.

italian-market-art

These participating businesses include more recent immigrants and more established stores “that operate in close proximity to each other but are often separated by cultural and socioeconomic differences.”

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Eddie Lang mural installed at 7th and Fitzwater, to be dedicated on Sunday

Back in February plans for a mural of musician Eddie Lang were presented at a Bella Vista Neighbors Association meeting. Now eight months later, that mural, titled Eddie LangThe Father of Jazz Guitar, is coming to life.

This week, the mural was installed at 7th and Fitzwater, in preparation for the unveiling and dedication on Sunday, October 23.

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What's Happening in:  Newbold 

Mural Arts Program hosting public paint day event for new Musicians Mural

The original musicians mural at 9th and Wharton has been deteriorating for years now. Fundraising began last year and the mural is now getting an updated design and a new location behind the Valley Green Bank at Broad and Tasker.

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On Saturday, the artist behind the mural, Eric Okdeh, will be leading a paint day event to get the community involved with the neighborhood’s new mural.

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Spotted: Broad Street median mural being installed

South Broad Street is getting a little more colorful. A few weeks back we shared with you the plans for a median mural by artist Mat Tomezsko that would brighten up Broad for the Democratic National Convention later this month.

That mural is in the process of being installed, bringing bright stripes to a 14-block-span of South Broad Street. The piece, titled “14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words,” spans from City Hall to Washington Avenue. Continue Reading →

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