Back in 2006, this used to be one of the only massive, relatively inexpensive places to buy art supplies in Center City. Of course you had your smaller stores including the school book store and Utrecht but these didn’t compare to the three floors packed with art supplies at Pearl. Well a couple years later, Pearl closed their doors for good while Utrecht expanded and Blick made their way to Center City.
The old Pearl building that sits at 4th and South in the Queen Village neighborhood, has remained unoccupied since then. Years of discussion and talk of what this could be and finally some creative ideas have surfaced. The plan is for this space to be converted into art studios. Including retail space, ground floor gallery and a roof top entertainment area. Studios would be rented monthly at $250 and offered a space for gallery showings.
(Photo Source: google.com)
Plans are to open this Summer 2014. Although a new designed facade and interiors will not be present until 2015. Considering the rise of art programs, schools and encouraged creative thinking, this was a smart move. We’re happy to see a creative, community learning space come to South Street.
Coming Fall 2014 you will start to see many more bikes traveling these city streets. The city has committed millions of dollars in capital funds to this Bike Share project that may have you rethink how you get around. Their goal is to implement the Bike Share in zones of Center City and surrounding neighborhoods. When the project is at completion they hope to see between 150-200 Bike Share stations docking nearing 1,500 bikes.
(Photo Source: http://www.phila.gov/bikeshare)
Bike Share will be prominent in neighborhoods such as Bella Vista, Queen Village, Passyunk Square, South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Temple University all the way to the Navy Yard. At the most recent Bella Vista Neighbors Association meeting, this was discussed in great detail by the Mayors Office of Transportation and Utilities as Bella Vista would have a Bike Share station implemented.
The Bike Share program wouldn’t be for your everyday bike rider. This program would be targeted at students, tourists, anyone who does not own a bike. This would become one more option of transportation similar to jumping on the bus or walking. Yearly and monthly memberships will be offered. They price comparable to other major cities with Bike Share options. A single ride could be bought for under $10.
These bikes will be large, heavy and uniquely designed for Bike Share. They will be three-speed and made with hard to replace parts hoping to deter theft. Philadelphia will become the 37th city to offer a Bike Share program. As a non-bike rider living in Center City Philadelphia (for reasons of erratic Philly drivers) I am still excited to see this change come to the city as it promotes outdoor, physical activity. Although, I would consider making one change and make the helmet policy mandatory.