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When goes the scaffold?: Seriously. We understand that City Hall's cleaning is an eight year process, but how long does it take to clean a handful of sculptures? Alexander Milne Calder's sculptures of Indians, Swedes, children, dogs and eagles have been wrapped under scaffolding for going on two years. In each of the two times in the past year City Hall has called attention to itself -- the gala event for the new evening lighting scheme and the holiday light show -- the building's pock has stood under that same spotlight. We don't think it didn't warrant attention; we'd just like the job to be finished. City Hall is spending money cleaning itself ... can we allocate a heavy portion of that to the tower until the scaffolding comes down? Please?

It could have been 666: But it's just not evil enough. Carl Dranoff's second all-new development for South Broad Street brings some truth to the "coming soon" sign between Fitzwater and Catharine, only it ain't gon' look like the sign does. This here will be six stories of boringness (not boredom ok?), but it will have big windows and a nice sidewalk. We're happy that people will be living on Broad Street. We're also hoping the design is tweaked before they break ground.

You're not supposed to see this yet: But I got a sneak preview! Arizona sculptor Barbara Grygutis has created "Lifelines," a series of illuminated aluminum, mesh and glass leaves to lend some vision to Septa's renovation of Suburban Station's concourse. The Daniel Keating construction walls are still on site at 16th & JFK, but they'll be removed soon and you can check these things out, preferably under the twilight.

Go CREI go!: As with our last CREI post, they're cranking out the innovation and filling in needed gaps. This one at Columbus Blvd (yeah we know, Delaware Ave) & Catharine Street may not yield the wow factor American Loft or Nouveau Condos do, but we thnk a garage podium is acceptable for a wedge between I-95 and Del Ave, considering the only thing there now is a litter strewn grass patch. Good looking stuff, this proposal ... (Thanks for the pic, Swinefeld!)

I like my Mellon red: You might think it's for Valentine's Day or for early Phillies support, but February is apparently Go Red for Women month. You might have also seen Mellon Bank Center's red pyramid in Channel 6's new party commercials where Jim Gardner and Gary Papa converse over some Xbox action ... and now you know why.

The hair of Penn's Landing: The Donald shocked no one with his announcement of a waterfront condo tower along the Delaware Riverfront. He's not shy about building tall or blocking other building's views -- in this case, Waterfront Square. Still, you have to wonder if Trump's old pal Ed Rendell talked some sense into Trump and told him that a Nicetown slots parlor was a BAD idea. There's no question that two licenses will one day be awarded. (There's plenty of question when.) But if Trump expects to have a serious shot at one of the licenses, he'll need a better option than Nicetown -- like, for example, a Riverfront that already has a slew of proposals. And if that doesn't work, he'll still have a Trump Tower in Philadelphia.

Rindelaub's Woe: You maniacs! You blew it up! Hal-lelujah, they blew it up. And so it seems, 2006 is the year of the Stern. Howard is getting Sirius, and Bob is taking over Philly. Comcast Center's core is already above the street, and 10 Rittenhouse Square must not be far behind, as demolition has begun on 18th Street and Sansom. Yes in my back yard, the next condo tower is in motion. (Thanks for the pic, Swinefeld!)

East Falls rising: Heads up East Fallians, you're about to have a growth spurt. Global City and MGA Partners of Philly are teaming up to bring you a complex directly across the street from Falls Bridge, in the lot between Kelly Drive, Ridge Ave and Calumet St. Tentatively called the Terrace at East Falls, it'll feature several buildings, including a, 11- or 12-story residential Ătower. The 'terrace' part comes from the uh, terrace, that will have outdoor seating that embraces the view of the Bridge, and which will possibly cater to Fairmount Park passersby. Stay tuned.

15th & Chestnut, it's [still not] happening: Remember that sign? Since it was first hung in 2002, Tim Mahoney's Mariner Property and Craig Spencer's Arden Group have publicly duked it out over what amounts to podium rights for their respective condo towers planned on adjacent lots. The former Meridian Plaza site has been empty since its demolition was completed in 2000, and several versions of both Mariner's 1441 Chestnut and Arden's Residences at the Ritz have made the media rounds, but all we've got in 2006 is two parking lots. Condos are going up all over town, the bubble will probably burst, and both of these beauties may remain fancy artist prints.

Bye bye Budget: Earth movers done flattened everybody's (my) favorite rental car place. (I swear I know nothing about those burnholes after that trip to Montreal!) Well baby, that means the Murano's on its way. Assuming the posters and the sales office at neighboring One Commerce Square are true, 21st & Market will soon see the rising steel of Solomon Cordwell Buenz's totally tubular glass shaft. For images of a cartoon city and a super sleek building, check out the Murano's web site here.

In your face, Applebee's!: The Aria: The Condominium conversion of the Lewis Tower has resumed, as evidenced by this fashionable new black veil. Falling chunks of concrete on I-76 remain unclaimed, but those which have fallen on the Applebee's next door have only made both they and Aria stronger. If I can dig 'em out, I'll post a mini-photo essay of the views from the 33rd floor soon. Meantime if you wanna check out Aria: the web site, it is here.

The new pearl of Chinatown: or so they say. On a block more famously known for being Lil Kim's current place of residence, Philly car park giant Parkway Corporation is doing the unthinkable and getting rid of one of its lots -- with its own condo development. The Pearl is a decent-enough looking metal-framed glass building with six stories. It's at the same scale as the nearby police Roundhouse, the parking garages across the street, and the larger Chinatown neighborhood. All in all, it's not a bad fit, and anything to boost the population around poor Franklin Square is welcome. Check out the Pearl's web site here. (Thanks for the pic, Lawrence!)

Dodo makes Jefferson parking garage extinct: Mrs 'Dodo' Hamilton donated a nice chunk of change to Jeff for a new medical studies building and a park/plaza. This is the construction site between 10th & 11th on the north side of Locust Street where the low-lying garages used to be. All in all, it's probably the best thing Jefferson has done since fixing up the Victory Building. Read more here.

City Hall wonderland: Mayor John Street is having a great day inside his big gingerbread house of pride. Wouldn't you be too? More pictures here.

The sign at Suburban Station: it's back on, see? Dunno how long it was out, but it's back on now. It still doesn't mean you'll be actually be able to go into Suburban Station through the doors under the sign.

SAY NO TO PI: please, DRPA, we are begging you. Don't build this stupid goddamn thing. It's such a waste of money that should be spent elsewhere, it would ruin the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge, and there are already plenty of options for tourists to cross the River, like the Ferry (which DRPA runs), the Bridge (which DRPA runs), and PATCO (which DRPA runs). Why, oh why, oh why, is a tram necessary?

Cira Centre at night: In honor of ABC's visit, Brandywine Realty flipped the switch and lit up Philly's latest, greatest office tower for the ceremonious first time. John Madden waxed rosy about the city of brotherly love while the Eagles handed a victory to Roy Williams and the Cowboys. Two outta three ain't bad, as they say. Have a look at this web site's Cira Centre section for more photos.

South Bridge: Ok, now this is an idea we can get down to! The JFK Center on Schuylkill Ave is, at long last, going condo, with a redo by recently dubbed Master Builders Venturi Scott Brown no less. It'll beautify Schuylkill Ave and give Naval Square (and Springfield Beer Distributors) formidable neighbors, AND it will address the River Park once it gets that far. Philly skyline is an official fan of Henry Holcomb, and the 11/8 Inquirer story re-enforces this fandom.

Symphony House: Yeah, we know it's already on the second floor and is progressing nicely, and we're very, very happy that it is replacing the parking lot and billboard that formerly occupied Broad & Pine, but meh. We're just not very excited about it. There will eventually be a construction progress section (as with those for Comcast Center, Cira Centre and the St James), but for now, the best updates are at Skyscraperpage.

New slots parlor idea: Planet Hollywood? Is it really 2005? And this is serious? Like: "Planet Hollywood Slots at Penn's Landing?" You're serious? And on top of it, Frank DiCicco wants to set a height limit for an accompanying hotel tower? Our philly skyline opinion? NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Planet Hollywood? In Philly? NO. (Don't get any MORE ideas, Sly.) NO!

Older news can be found HERE