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Philadelphia Alleys Ranked for Makeover

In advance of what may be a wider program, Philadelphia's alleys have been ranked for their aesthetic quality. Those in the "average" range are most suitable for retrofits.
November 17, 2015, 6am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Jon Seidman

Like their counterparts elsewhere, most of Philadelphia's alleyways aren't very beloved spaces. "In a Center City Residents' Association (CCRA) newsletter, [blogger William] West described the alleyways as an 'inartful jumble of architectural afterthoughts.'"

West proceeded to rank the city's alleys according to their quality. Middle scorers have the most to gain from an easy face-lift. "Subsequently, Moravian Street was selected as the best middle-ground contender. Moravian was also appropriate due to its location—it is situated between two of the most popular retail blocks in the city."

Moravian Street will be transformed, it is hoped, into an attractive urban space. "Simple green plantings with shrubbery and bushes create a sense of place, while murals integrated with green walls, hanging lights and bird boxes round out the design. Now, one can easily imagine this as a place that has grown over time, not just an alleyway with some plants hastily chucked in."

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Published on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in The Architect's Newspaper
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