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Old Posted Jul 27, 2009, 4:50 AM
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hammersklavier hammersklavier is offline
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I'm pretty sure structural soundness won't be so much of an issue...this viaduct and the High Line date to a similar era built by similar RR co's with similar fortunes who built their stuff in similar ways, so if it's doable in NY it should be doable here. And of course it was the threat of demolition that led to the formation of the Friends of the High Line, which itself led to the redevelopment of the High Line. Not only that, but the Reading Viaduct and the High Line both run through similar neighborhoods, fabric-wise; the fact that the redevelopment of the High Line spurred gentrification in Chelsea demonstrates in no uncertain terms that with proper Viaduct redevelopment, Callowhill will gentrify. (Not that it isn't gentrifying already; but it's doing so at a glacial pace.)

The wires are part and parcel of the transformers at 11th and Noble; with SEPTA building a new transformer array up along the Viaduct at Fairmount they should go away. However, the catenary should remain, to remind people this was once an electrified line, one that Silverliners traversed.

It would be nice if the Friends of the Viaduct website was updated more frequently IMO; it's like Tiwanaku; the illusion of activity can generate real activity. So if the website seems to be active then people'll believe they're for real and many more could do something like, say, join a real, live petition effort. Because this Viaduct is a gem and it would be an egregious miscue to let it be demolished.

It's also nice to see me and Inga in agreement on this front. Indeed, there is no reason why it shouldn't work, and redevelopment of the Viaduct now has the twofold benefits of putting people to work now and preparing the park for when the economy improves later. Remember, even when the High Line was being actively redeveloped Chelsea was gentrifying alongside it just on expectation, and since it's only opened now, when there isn't much development going on anywhere in the country, it's probable that the gentrification cycle will continue there when the economy improves.

To my mind, the Park would feature grand entrances at 1) Vine, 2) Broad and Noble, and 3) Spring Garden (both Vine and Spring Garden being along the Viaduct). In addition, not only can we build a path north to Temple, but we can extend it south to the Convention Center, and west all the way to the Schuylkill. Like the High Line, though, the first part of our park will be the core, the area where redevelopment's cheapest.
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