Paths, Places, and Portals: Charrette Team 4

The Master Plan for Drexel University from 2012 to the Sesquicentennial in 2041, Drexel@150, will focus not only on sites within the existing real estate portfolio to further its master planning goals, but also take advantage of the intellectual capactity and creativity of its students and faculty.  The recently concluded design charrette, Paths, Places, and Portals, yielded a treasure trove of concepts to be incorporated into the 2012 Master Plan.  A series of posts will present the work of the teams.
 
Team 4 examined Chestnut Street, amplifying its possibilities as path, place, as well as the principal portal of the original Drexel campus, before it spread north and west:

Team 4 is comprised of Kevin Ardinger, Alison DiMaio, Andrew Milner, Michael Patterson, and Jennifer Shin.

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6 thoughts on “Paths, Places, and Portals: Charrette Team 4”

  1. I really appreciate Team 4’s aspiration to “bring presence and sociability to this area of Chestnut Street” with a mixture of new academic, housing, dining and retail uses. This programming approach really can transform “the once bustling front door to t5he Drexel Institute [that ] now serves as a mere traffic route littered with the tail-ends of academia…”

  2. Very much like the idea of greening the underside of the high-line on the North Side of Chestnut, much as Penn did on the South. This path/connection, should create a natural path to the Penn Park under development on the Postal Lands … a neighborhood green space and asset that Drexel should highlight and leverage. Could the green space continue through to Market Street?

    1. Greening is certainly under consideration. It would be nice to do someting along the lines of Team 1’s Lunch Truck Row, but meeting the requirements of the railroad is difficult.

  3. We’re indeed working with Andropogon on ways to extend a green corridor along the High Line from Chestnut to Market Street and JFK Boulevard. Such a corridor could help create a regionally significant recreation path link from Penn Park to Drexel Park, add useful local walking connections, and contribute to an improved Ludlow Street walking environment. And since the high line won’t necessarily carry trains forever, we’re thinking new buildings created along it should anticipate the possibility of connecctions to the rail deck level, should opportunity emerge for it to be green too. We’ll share these ideas and others with the community of Drexel stakeholders the week of May 16.

  4. I’ve posted elsewhere that Market, JFK and Lancaster are the priorities for development. That being said, some of the suggestions posted for simple improvements on Chestnut (and its immediate surroundings) like Terraces at the Intercultural Center, Stratton and Disque Halls are fantastic ideas. Anything that can be done to soften the look of those buildings (and Korman, which will soon be overwhelmed by the Papadakis and LeBow buildings) should be relatively inexpensive yet go a long way to improve the aesthetics. The idea of growing vegetation on these buildings in the style of the musée du quai Branly would make the environment much more inviting. Also, interesting lighting of the buildings could help enliven Chestnut in the evenings.

    1. Drexel needs low cost interventions, like the terraces, to advance the planning goals of connecting spaces, using resources efficiently, and engaging the urban context.

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