Tag Archives: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Three New Casinos Proposed for South Philadelphia

Six contenders have emerged in the fight for the city’s second gaming license. Three of these contenders would bring Philadelphia’s newest casino to South Philadelphia.

Stadium Casino L.L.C is proposing to add a $425 to $500 million casino to the stadium district. Penn National would also bring the casino to South Philadelphia at a proposed site at nearby 700 Packer Avenue. The third is PHL Local Gaming L.L.C proposing a $367 million casino and hotel on either side of the 3300 block of South Front Street. At first, the only contender for that coveted gaming license had been Burt Blatstein of Tower Development who proposed his $700 million, French style casino and gaming complex for North Broad Street. Other contenders are Wynn Resorts for the Delaware River waterfront in Fishtown and the Goldenberg Group for the surface parking lot once proposed for DisneyQuest development at Eighth and Market Streets.

Stadium Casino L.L.C consists of the business partnership between Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Incorporated and Cordish Companies. Greenwood owns Pennsylvania’s largest grossing casino Parx in Bensalem and Cordish Companies co- owns the stadium district’s popular attraction Xfinity Live!

The casino would be added to the already existing Holiday Inn located at 900 Packer Avenue. Green and Cordish president Joe Weinberg described the advantages of this Packer Avenue locale:

• It sits at the heart of an entertainment and sports district that attracts 8.5 million to 10 million visitors per year.

• It has easy access to I-76 and I-95.

• It will capture a new market – those attending events at the three sports facilities, as well as patrons of Xfinity Live! – rather than cannibalize the local gambling market now served by SugarHouse on the Delaware River waterfront

Stadium Casino L.L.C plans to add a 200,000 square-foot casino and entertainment complex at the front of the Holiday Inn. Although the 10 story hotel would remain intact, it would be redesigned as an upscale boutique hotel under a different brand. The group will own both the hotel and casino that would house 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games. The complex also would feature fitness and spa facilities, a pool, six restaurants, a live music venue, a rooftop party deck, and a parking garage with about 2,500 spaces.

Stadium Casino L.L.C is not the only one vying for a South Philadelphia location for the future of the city’s next casino. Penn National is a regional operator of racetrack casinos, including Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, near Harrisburg.

Penn National would be opening Hollywood Casino Philadelphia. This proposed plan would include a 100,000-square-foot casino floor with 2,050 slot machines, 66 live table games, and a 15-table poker room.

“Given the rising number of recent proposed gaming projects that have not been completed for financial reasons, we believe Penn National’s financial strength and proven ability to complete projects on schedule make us the ideal operator to develop this new gaming and entertainment facility in Philadelphia,” said chairman and chief executive Peter Carlino.

The third application and last for South Philadelphia was filed late on the day of the deadline by PHL Local Gaming L.L.C.. PHL Local Gaming L.L.C represents the interests of Joseph G. Procacci, founder and chief executive of Procacci Brothers Sales Corporation.

The gaming hall would be called Casino Revolution and feature 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games, a 250-room hotel, restaurants and an entertainment arena.

Which South Philadelphia proposal do you like best?

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The History of Cianfrani Park

A History of Cianfrani ParkCianfrani Park is an oasis and gem in the heart of Bella Vista. At 8th and Fitzwater, the green space plays host to a myriad of important events that build and strengthen the community. We will look back on it’s history and understand how Cianfrani Park became the hard-won, cherished public space it is today.

Many believe the park is named after former Pennsylvania state senator Henry J. “Buddy’ Cianfrani who lived from 1923 to 2002. Cianfrani was well known for many services to his country.  He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. However, after winning political office, he also became known for scandal. Cianfrani Park is actually named in honor of Henry’s mother. While Cianfrani’s life was cluttered with drama and headline-making news, the park has also had a tumultuous historical path.

Cianfrani Park sits on land that was once occupied by the Campbell Elementary School. The Campbell School is where Joe Venuti, the proclaimed Father of the Jazz Violin, attended grade school. A plaque at one of the entrances to the park marks this important factoid. Sometime in the 1960’s the school was demolished, thus bringing birth to the park. Neighbors carefully attended and took care of the space. However, by the early 1990’s, the park became a neglected wasteland and eye sore.  A home for the homeless, both dogs and human beings, became the park’s sole purpose.

In 1993, neighbors banded together and created the organization Friends of Cianfrani Park to quickly rehabilitate the park.  Raising funds themselves, these upstanding citizens spent countless hours working towards the common goal of bringing life back to the land. Local architect David Morse observed Friends of Cianfrani Park’s goal was to make the park, “the green heart of our community, everyone’s front yard and urban living room.”

History of Cianfrani Park

The website for the park reads, “With the financial help of many neighbors, small business people and supportive city and state officials, we have accomplished much of it. Gardens fenced with attractive wrought iron, urns overflowing with flowers, benches filled with seniors engaged in conversation, mothers with children playing with pets are all now a reality. Through our efforts, Cianfrani Park is once again the green heart of our community.”

Cianfrani thrives to this day having most recently received First Prize in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society 2012 City Gardens Contest. Some widely attended events that take place year round include a Summer Concert Series, Spring Festival, and Holiday Tree Lighting, It’s good to know that when people band together and work towards a common goal, great results can be produced. Cianfrani Park is a perfect example of that.

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News in the Neighborhood – Society Hill

Society Hill NewsNews and Upcoming Events for Society Hill

Street Tree Applications for Fall 2013

In the middle of winter the neighborhood looks bare, but it’s time to think of spring and planting trees! The volunteers of Society Hill Tree Tenders will soon start accepting applications for free street trees to be planted next fall. If there’s space in front of your property, please consider the benefits that a tree provides: Beautification, increased property value, lower energy bills, carbon sequestration, songbird habitat, reductions in storm water runoff, ground-level ozone, and crime. Would you like to have a tree planted? Convince your neighbors to plant trees? Help plant a tree yourself? Please contact Society Hill Tree Tender Coordinator Laura Lane at laura_lane_devoe@yahoo.com. After February 16, the contact is Mike Novak at TreeTenderMike@gmail.com.

Native Plants for Urban Spaces             
February 9, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Fairmount Park Horticultural Center N. Horticultural and Montgomery Drive
$10.00 Registration fee

What do the Japanese honeysuckle, lonicera japonica, and Butterfly bush, buddleja lindleyana have in common? Kristen Lacey, a Penn State Philadelphia Master Gardener, will show you how to improve your gardens ecosystem by planting native trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials. This class will cover “right plant, right place”, how to attract beneficial wildlife to your garden and urban appropriate alternatives to invasive plants. Visit their blog!

Preservation Alliance Names New Executive Director

The Preservation Alliance is pleased to announce that Caroline E. Boyce will assume leadership of the organization in March. Caroline is a skilled executive, preservationist and development professional with a background in planning. Since 2002, she has been serving as Executive Vice President of AIA Pennsylvania, a Society of the American Institute of Architects, where she spearheaded the growth of the organization into a nationally recognized public policy leader. She comes to the Alliance with a reputation for strong financial leadership and organizational ability. She is also recognized for her successes in nurturing partnerships and coalitions. Prior to AIA PA, Caroline was a founding director of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania and directed the Office of Statewide Partnerships at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She was also Executive Director of Preservation Pennsylvania for five years. Caroline holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MA in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.

Green City, Clean Waters
Wednesday, February 13, from 6pm – 7:00pm
Municipal Services Building (MSB), 16th Floor, Room Y.

This is a great opportunity to learn all about Green City, Clean Waters  including information on how you can provide input on potential green storm water infrastructure projects in your neighborhood by filling out their Community Input Form. Please RSVP by February 11 here . Proper photo I.D. is required to enter the MSB. For further info contact Jeanne Waldowski of Public Affairs at (215) 685-4945 or by email at jeanne.waldowski@phila.gov.

Tugboats: The Art of Dave Boone Exhibit @ The Independence Seaport Museum

The Seaport Museum will debut the newest Community Gallery exhibition, “Tugboats: The Art of Dave Boone” on Friday, February 22. In this exhibition, visitors will be taken through the journey of one man’s lifelong love of tugboats. Dave Boone has built two careers from a single formative experience when he was just a boy. His dream of what-to-become-when-he-grew-up far exceeded his expectations.

*courtesy of Society Hill Civil Association

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