DAG Dispatch

By Lachelle Weathers, DAG Fellow

Start the week off with a wrap up of Philadelphia area news, public proposals, and happenings in the world of design, architecture, and planning. Follow us @designadvocacy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to our email list to keep up with DAG Dispatch. Articles are shared to spark dialogue and keep our members informed, and do not represent DAG’s endorsement of an idea or project.

The preservation of Doctor’s Row has been the highlight of many conversations regarding gentrification and new developments in historic neighborhoods for quite some time now. Recently Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson proposed a moratorium that would halt demolition along Doctor’s Row for a year, in hopes that the Philadelphia Historical Commission would consider adding the area to the city’s Historic Register. This legislation is just one portion of many efforts by local government, activists, and community members fighting for Doctor’s Row. 


The current program that tries to encourage developers to prioritize affordable housing went into law in September of 2018. Developers have been taking full advantage of the program; however instead of incorporating affordable housing, they have just been making donations to the city’s Housing Trust Fund. Needless to say, this was not the outcome the local government was expecting. The goal was to increase the amount of affordable housing, so they went back to the drawing board with the introduction of a new bill.


Arts and Crafts Holdings have taken a liking to an old seven-story brick building once inhabited by the Haverford Cycle Company in the newly rebranded Spring Arts district of Callowhill. This building went unnoticed for some time due to its positioning in the neighborhood. Craig Grossman described it as hidden and camouflaged but is very enthusiastic for the direction the project is taking as a creative workspace with special tributes to the cycle company’s Black Beauty bike. 


Residential properties are popping up all around Philadelphia! A 29-unit building in Northern Liberties is currently under construction, replacing what was once a one-story warehouse occupied by a printing and finishing company in 2018. The building is coming along pretty quickly and seems to be a great addition near Liberty Lands Park. 


Spring Garden Street has become a car infested mess but there is potential that it might change! Because it connects the Schuylkill and Delaware River, Spring Garden is eligible for a major reconstruction and greening project. It would be very expensive to complete, but there is a strong possibility that the federal government could cover costs. Optimistically, if things go as planned, we could see a transformed Spring Garden Street in 2025.

North Philly Peace Park has become a beacon in that neighborhood. It is an exemplary example of how a black community is pushing back against gentrification by showcasing self-determination in agriculture, design, education, wellness, and cooperative economics. This pavilion is the start of a continuing project that could gain traction throughout all of Philadelphia.