Though it's often thought of as outdated, ho-hum, and blight-ridden, North Broad is due for some big changes in the near (and not-so-near) future. Here are ten big changes in the works for Philly's aging central artery.
1.) A Renovation of the Louise Reed Center for Dance: The addition will include "a studio that is the same size as the Academy of Music's stage and a landscaped courtyard facing Broad Street."
2.) New Stainless Steel Streetlights: "A 2 1/2-mile stretch of stainless-steel streetlights in the center of Broad Street, from Spring Garden Street to Glenwood Avenue" will be constructed. The lights will be 55 feet high.
3.) Three Miles of Trees & Sidewalk Paintings: The streetscape project will make cosmetic improvements spanning from City Hall to Glenwood Ave.
4.) A New Boutique Hotel: The old Blue Horizon building will be converted into a 96 room hotel, which will begin work in April.
5.) Sale of William Penn High to Temple: Though there are no concrete plans yet, Temple has indicated its interest in purchasing the mammoth property which runs between Broad and 13th Street at Girard.
6.) Congregation Rodeph Shalom synagogue expansion: The synagogue will add 18,000 new sq ft to encompass classrooms and more gallery space for the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, which is also housed at the synagogue.
7.) Adaptive Reuse of the Thaddeus Stevens School: Eric Blumenfeld, the owner of the Divine Lorraine, says he will begin converting the school (which is known for its huge mural) into a 60 unit apartment building, maybe as soon as next month. He will call the project the Mural Arts Building.
8.) Conversion of the Divine Lorraine: Though previous attempts have stalled, Blumenfeld still plans to convert the decaying hotel into 136 apartments.
9.) Re-invigoration of the Metropolitan Opera House: Blumenfeld says he wants "convert the old Met into a concert venue that could include boxing and mixed-martial-arts events, as well as a New Orleans-style restaurant."
10.) Renovation of the Uptown Theater: Though the executive director of the theater is less than optimistic about new energy on North Broad, she is in negotiations with contractors about the renovation of the theater (located at Broad and Dauphin).
· Arts Looking Northe [Daily News]