• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Church preservation crisis | compromise at St. Boniface | PPA praise | SRC listening

  • The bell tower of Greater St. Matthew Church, (formerly St. Anthony of Padua) which a developer plans to adapt for housing.


Philadelphia’s historic religious properties are under siege, victim to shifting social and economic forces that leaves these community anchors vulnerable. PlanPhilly’s JoAnn Greco examines this preservation crisis, looking at examples of churches being sold, developed, demolished, and supported, with a particular focus on Southwest Center City.

Speaking of demolished churches, Norris Square Civic Association (NSCA) has agreed to change its plans to build affordable housing at the St. Boniface campus on Norris Square, the Daily News reports. Instead of  15 limited-equity co-ops on the St. Boniface site eight single-family rowhouses will be built and the co-ops will be created in two properties on Susquehanna Avenue that currently house NSCA’s offices. The change reflects a deal struck between NSCA and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez late last week after months of contentious meetings and maneuvers.

The leaner, more efficient Parking Authority is doing a better job of regulating parking supply and bringing in revenue for the city writes Patrick Kerkstra in the Inquirer. Thanks to higher meter and ticket prices the Parking Authority has more than doubled its annual profit since 2007, which goes toward to the city and School District.

Despite taking a lot of heat for approving next year’s austere school budget, the School Reform Commission should be commended for listening to its critics, the Daily News editorializes. The SRC is soliciting feedback on its school-closure criteria and has postponed voting on the controversial conversion to “achievement networks.” As the editorial notes, “It’s not every day that officials revise their plans in response to public outcry. The fact that they have speaks to the evolution of the SRC as well as to strength of the activists who rallied against its proposals.”

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