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The Reviews Are In: Philadelphia's New Dilworth Park

Calling it "a suit in a jeans-and-T-shirt world," Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture Critic Inga Saffron's review of the redesigned Dilworth Park in Philadelphia is more criticism than celebration.
September 9, 2014, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Saffron begins the review by acknowledging that Dilworth Park is a great improvement over the previous Dilworth Plaza, crediting Center City District's Paul Levy with directing the work of "a dream team of Philadelphia's most renowned designers and engineers."

"Yet," writes Saffron, "Dilworth's new comforts, which won't be complete until November, are undermined by an uptight and controlling sensibility."

According to Saffron, Levy "envisioned a welcoming oasis that would replicate Sister Cities' playful spirit while also providing City Hall with the dignified forecourt it deserves….But the inherent tension in those goals is vividly on display. The aesthetic is all wrong for a city eager to remake itself for an expanding creative class."

Among the many other soundbite worthy proclamations in the review, here's the summation that Saffron led with on Twitter: "Maybe I spent too much time in beer gardens this summer, but I found myself longing for some of their laid-back, serendipitous vibe."

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Published on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 in Philadelphia Inquirer
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