Thursday, April 21, 2011

Empty Lot of the Week-- April 21

The Schuylkill Sea

Bounded by N. 23rd St and the Schuylkill River, JFK to Cherry Sts.
               What a piece of elephant dung this lot is. I call it the Schuylkill Sea because describing its location otherwise is as confusing as the non-ending of Limitless. This grimy dirt hole is so expansive that it even extends under the Cuthbert St. elevated train tracks. 
               This stinky lot, located at a convenient spot within the northwestern corner of Center City, sits as a monument to waste and uselessness. You would think that SOMEONE would do want to do SOMETHING with this used condom-catching mega lot, and you would be right. However, you will forget that there is something so powerful, so evil and so old it can stall any kind of positive city growth… that’s right, you guessed it, the NIMBY. Back in 2006, a humongous and frankly unrealistic plan came along to build 10 buildings over 15 years to create a beautiful mixed-use Philadelphia River City. Here’s a render:

This is also a picture of an alternate universe without NIMBY's.
                  Ok, so the buildings don’t look that great… but go look at that streetview pic up there and tell me that Field of Forlorn Fucks is better than what was planned. NIMBY’s basically heard about this proposal and ate their ivory-capped canes. They fought this motherfucker tooth and nail until the economy got all fucked up and put an end to it. The economy would have collapsed either way, but at least one of the buildings would have been built by that time if the NIMBY’s didn’t get their blue-haired asses involved.                                                                                                                                        What could this lot be used for now? Tons of things. Proximity to the river, parkway, El, and 30th St. Station makes this lot a powerhouse. You just have to get past the Depends-dependent force known as the NIMBY. My ideas include: Bike factory store to serve the Schuylkill trail for you cyclist douches, retail center to serve the northwest Center City corner… shit, I’d rather see a Museum of Desi Arnez’s Asshole than a surface lot that size. I’d rather have a giant waterslide built than that shitty blank flat garbage heap. A coal mine is better than this Asphalt Ice Rink. A slaughterhouse. The world’s tallest hair salon. ANYTHING.

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the great work on the blog - re: the aptly named Schuykill Sea - I suspect the primary reason it hasn't been developed yet is because it sits in a flood plain and anytime the Schuykill overflows its banks, the entire lot is at risk of getting being flat and all. This happened most recently around Hurricane Irene. I am certainly no expert, but I think the city would have to install some serious flood control measures (costing many millions?) before anyone would even think of developing here. (At least once they've priced out the flood insurance policy). For a useful illustration of the flooding issue, see:

    Think that will get right to the correct map....if not, there's a search by address feature.