Logan Square History
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As part of the original city laid out by William Penn, the story of Logan Square begins with the very founding of the city of Philadelphia.
In May 1680, William Penn petitioned King Charles II of England for a grant of land in America, which he would consider to be payment of a large debt (about 16,000 GBP) the King owed to his father. William Penn’s motivations were three-fold: “the service of God first, the honor and advantage of the King, with our own profit.” Over a decade earlier, Penn had turned from the Anglican Church, the only legal religion in England at that time, to the Society of Friends (Quakers). As a highly visible (and controversial) religious leader, he envisioned the new colony as a “holy experiment”, a tolerant, moral society, where all people would be free to worship as they pleased. As a businessman (and one in debt), he also hoped to make a profit, and spent the next year and a half planning, advertising and selling lots in the new colony. For 20 GBP, First Purchasers would get 1000 acres in Pennsylvania, named for Penn’s father, plus a bonus 20 acres in a “large city or town” on the shores of the Delaware River. Penn named this town Philadelphia.
When surveyors arrived in 1681, they found that much of the land William Penn desired was already occupied by English, Dutch, and Swedish farmers. The undeveloped mile-long tract they purchased from three Swedes was not large enough to fulfill Penn’s vision of a city laid out as a long row of widely separated houses, each with a garden and small orchard fronting the Delaware River. As a result, Penn acquired a tract along the Schuylkill River (‘schuylkill’ means ‘hidden river’ in Dutch), parallel to his tract on the Delaware, and decreased the size of the bonus city plots given to First Purchasers. Philadelphia would be a rectangle of 1200 acres, much smaller than Penn had intended, but still the larger than any other town in North America.
Penn’s thoughtful city plan called for a grid pattern of wide streets. The east-west streets would be named after trees: Cedar (now South), Pine, Spruce, Walnut, Chestnut, Mulberry (now Arch), Sassafras (now Race), and Vine. High Street (now Market) would be the central thoroughfare, twice as wide as the others at 100 feet. The north-south streets would be numbered, starting at the two rivers with Delaware Front (now Front) and Schuylkill Front (now 22nd) and increasing in both directions towards the central axis of Broad Street. At the intersection of Broad and High would be a large Centre Square (now City Hall), to be bordered by public buildings. Four other squares would be located symmetrically throughout the grid: Northeast (now Franklin), Southeast (now Washington), Southwest (now Rittenhouse) and Northwest (now Logan).
Penn considered the best lots to be at the rivers and envisioned the city developing inwards toward Centre Square. But this was not to be the case. As Philadelphia quickly expanded over the coming decades, settlers clustered, for social and economic reasons, around the busy Delaware River port, similar to Penn’s original vision. The population spread to the north and south, past the city limits, but remained for the most part to the east of 6th Street. As the country battled for her independence, the area that would become known as Logan Square remained largely untouched hardwood forest.
By 1800, as America’s capital transitioned from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, Philadelphia was the largest city in the new nation with the population heavily concentrated along the Delaware. Lining the Schuylkill River on its western border were farms and country estates, the land having been finally cleared of forest. Wigwam Baths, a public pleasure ground, lay at the end of Race Street. Five years later, the floating bridge spanning the Schuylkill at High Street was replaced by the single-arch, wood-covered ‘Permanent Bridge’. In 1808, Paul Beck built a shot tower near present day 21st and Cherry Streets. (In the tower, shot for muskets and shotguns was made by dropping molten lead 166 feet into a vat of water – by the time the lead hit the water, they were formed into perfectly round drops. The city’s original shot tower, Spark’s, is still standing at 2nd and Carpenter Streets.) Nearby, the Greek Revival Fairmount Water Works would become the pride of the city when it was completed in 1822. Northwest Square was being used as a pasture, graveyard and execution grounds. A gallows stood on the site until 1823, when it was last used to officially hang William Gross.
The extraordinarily rich agricultural lands of the Philadelphia countryside helped the city take root and become a bustling international port city. But by 1825, Philadelphia was feeling serious competition from Boston, Baltimore, and especially New York City, now enviously positioned to trade with the interior of the country as a result of the newly opened Erie Canal. But Philadelphia’s future was to lie not in agriculture or commerce, but rather in industry.
Unlike all seaport cities except Baltimore, Philadelphia was situated on the fall line This meant that the city had numerous streams capable of supplying water power to factories, and even as early as the start of the 19th century factories could be found throughout Philadelphia County. But it was another blessing of location that would position Philadelphia to become an industrial powerhouse. Sixty miles to the north, in the Lehigh Valley, lay the largest deposit of anthracite coal in the United States. By 1825 thousands of tons of this relatively cheap and clean-burning fuel was streaming into Philadelphia. With easy access to coal and iron, a skilled workforce, and an ever growing network of canals, turnpikes and railroads, the city would soon become known as the “Workshop of the World”, manufacturing everything from Stetson hats to locomotive engines. Powered by the steam engine, factories no longer needed to be located near water. Many of the new factories were built in areas outside the city proper, such as Kensington, Spring Garden, Moyamensing, and Manayunk. Neighborhoods quickly expanded in these areas, since most workers needed to be within walking distance of their workplace.
These changes took their toll on the existing city along the Delaware. Always a vibrant residential and commercial mix, the older areas of the city began to convert to more commercial and industrial uses. As blight set in, residences increasingly were left for the recently immigrated and the poor. New development began beyond 6th Street and thus the westward movement of the city had begun.
By the 1840’s the city had grown to Broad Street – to the west was still largely undeveloped land, with a few notable exceptions. In 1829, still on the outskirts of the city (present day Fairmount Avenue and 21st Streets), John Haviland had completed his fortress-like Eastern State Penitentiary. Just to the north, one of the most expensive buildings of its day, Thomas U. Walter’s Founder’s Hall at Girard College was well underway. Begun in 1833, it took 14 years to complete and is today considered one of the most archeologically correct examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country. At present-day 22nd and Market Streets, the city had erected a gas works and by 1836 the city’s principal streets had been lit by gas.
An 1842 city map shows the infrastructure of Logan Square beginning to form: the street grid has been extended to the river, smaller streets like Van Pelt and Spring are starting to subdivide larger blocks, and the Columbia Railroad cuts its way between Callowhill and Hamilton, arcing north at 21st Street. But differences exist as well: Spring Garden Street becomes Morris Street as it crosses west on Broad Street, Wood and Callowhill Streets stretch unbroken from Broad Street to the River, and most strikingly, the Parkway does not yet exist. An important name change is also evidenced in this map. In 1825, city Councils had named the 6 public squares (Penn’s original five, plus Independence Square to the South of Independence Hall). Northwest Square was named after James Logan, William Penn’s secretary and mayor of the city from 1722-23. Over the coming years, Logan Square would be extensively improved with walkways and plantings and in 1852 it would become protected by an installation of iron railings.
Through the mid-1800’s, the Logan Square neighborhood would begin to take shape with factories (like the Morris Iron Works at 16th and Market Streets) and Italianate rowhomes. Throughout this time, Philadelphia continued to welcome large numbers of immigrants, many of whom were Roman Catholic. In 1846 the Catholic population was large enough to support a Cathedral and the Italian Renaissance styled Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul by Napoleon LeBrun and John Notmanx was begun on the east side of Logan Square. The lack of windows in its brownstone Palladian facade reflects the religious turmoil that prevailed during this time. Notman’s original design called for Baroque corner towers, columns surrounding the dome and additional statuary, but these expensive embellishments were never executed. Important Protestant churches were also constructed in the 1850’s, as the population of the city moved westward. The Arch Street Presbyterian Church at 18th and Arch Streets by Joseph C. Hoxie was begun in 1853 in an eclectic neoclassical design that originally included two Baroque bell towers and matching dome lantern. The three towers were removed in 1900. In 1855, John Notman’s Saint Clement’s Episcopal Church was begun in the Romanesque Revival style. It was hoped by the developer that this church would help to attract buyers to the speculative housing he was building nearby. Only 10 years later its tall spire was declared unsafe and demolished. In 1856, Quakers constructed a large, characteristically simple meetinghouse at 16th and Race Streets.
In 1853, the city formally changed High Street to Market Street, as well as adopted the popular names of Arch and Race (replacing Mulberry and Sassafras). In addition, it continued the numbering of north-south streets from the Delaware (with Schuylkill 8th replaced by 15th, etc.). At this point, Philadelphia County contained, in addition to the city of Philadelphia (still conforming to Penn’s boundaries of River to River, Vine to South), 13 townships, 6 boroughs and 9 districts surrounding the city, as well as other municipalities further afield. This situation brought difficulties from administrative inefficiency to the complete breakdown of law enforcement. On March 11, 1854, Philadelphia city was consolidated with the outlying districts of Philadelphia County. On this date, the northern section of the Logan Square neighborhood, from Vine Street to Spring Garden Street, officially became part of the City of Philadelphia. Within 2 years, in an effort to better manage the now much larger city, city Councils introduced the current building numbering system: blocks would be numbered by the hundreds, with each new block starting a new hundred. Numbers for east-west streets would begin at Front Street, while north-south streets would begin at Market Street (increasing in each direction). All houses would be required to display their numbers.
In June of 1864, the waning days of the American Civil War, Logan Square played host to huge Central Fair. Sponsored by a local soldier’s relief organization, the square was surrounded by a great wall and contained 2 large rotundas as well as a 500-foot long picture gallery. The rotundas housed a restaurant, horticultural and commercial exhibits and a “smoking divan”. Abraham Lincoln distinguished the festivities with a visit. By 1868, it was generally agreed that the city had outgrown its offices at Independence Hall. The cornerstone of Philadelphia’s new city hall, designed by John McArthur, Jr., was laid on July 4, 1874 at Penn Square (which had been selected by voters in a referendum 3 years earlier). About 25 years and $25 million dollars later, the city would be governed from one of the premier examples of French Second Empire architecture in the country. Lavishly decorated with sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder, it is the largest free-standing masonry building in the world, with walls 22 feet thick in places. It’s tower is crowned by the largest statue on a building in the world, the 37 foot statue of William Penn facing Penn Treaty Park.
In 1876, as nearby Fairmount Park awed hundreds of thousands of visitors with the spectacular Centential Exhibition, two well-established museums relocated to the Logan Square neighborhood from their former homes near Chestnut Street. The Academy of Natural Sciences’ new home was right on Logan Square at Race Street in a Gothic Revival building (major renovations resulted in the present day building). In addition to a 30,000 volume library, the museum’s large collection included specimens of plants, minerals, shells, fossils, reptiles, fish and animals. Its collection of bird specimens was the largest in the world. A new building at Broad and Cherry housed the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the oldest art institution in the United States. The lower story of this High Victorian Gothic masterwork by Frank Furness was dedicated for educational purposes, while the second floor contained galleries of American and European work.
The last quarter of the 19th century is Philadelphia’s Iron Age as the city truly transformed into an industrial giant. Anchored at Broad and Spring Garden Streets and covering 17 acres was Philadelphia’s largest employer, the Baldwin Locomotive Works, where an average of 3000 locomotives were produced a year. The largest corporation in the country was the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad, whose monumental hub facing City Hall at Broad and Filbert played a major role in shaping the physical character of the Logan Square neighborhood. Completed in 1882 by the Wilson Brothers in a commanding Gothic Revival style, Broad Street Station was enlarged and enriched 10 years later by Frank Furness. Directly behind it to the west was an arched glass train shed, with the largest span in the world. Behind the shed the tracks stretched westward in a massive, blockwide, stone viaduct nicknamed the Chinese Wall, an imposing physical and psychological barier between Logan Square and neighborhoods to the south. By 1894, 60,000 people were arriving and departing daily from Broad Street Station. The railroads, combined with an extensive network of streetcar and trolley lines, made it easy to get to an increasingly commercialized downtown from the many new “commuter suburbs” both within and outside of the city. The population of the original Philadelphia neighborhoods declined throughout the later half of the 19th century. The negative effects of the Chinese Wall caused the relatively new Logan Square neighborhood to deteriorate rapidly.
The new century brought prosperity and technological advances that would profoundly shape every aspect of the city. Innovations such as electrification, underground sewers and indoor plumbing improved the quality of urban life. Steel-framing and elevators enabled a burst of skyscraper construction. The first steel-frame building in the city was the YWCA building at 1800 Arch Street, completed in 1892 (it was demolished in 1980). Great improvements were made in public transportation as well, as the electric trolley system strained under increasing usage and traffic congestion. The response came in 1907, when the Market Street Subway became the city’s first underground railway. Extending from 15th to the Schuylkill, it would connect to the Market Street Elevated, which ran to 69th Street. (The section east to the Delaware was completed in 1908.) The Broad Street Subway from City Hall north to Olney was completed in 1928 and would continue south to Snyder in 1938. By 1930, the vast majority of the city’s streets were paved – just in time to support the surge in automobile ownership: 250,000 cars and 40,000 trucks, with 100,000 cars entering the Philadelphia daily from outside the city limits.
The rise of the automobile combined with the new city planning ideas of the City Beautiful Movement created the first major departure from Penn’s grid-based street plan. As early as the 1890’s, the city’s leaders dreamed of building a boulevard patterned after Paris’s Champs Elysees to bring the green of Fairmount Park into the center of the city. After years of planning and debate, a design by Jacques Greber was adopted. The Parkway would be a broad diagonal boulevard beginning at Broad Street at City Hall and connecting to Kelly Drive. Construction began in 1907 with the clearing of buildings from Fairmount Park to Logan Square. After this effort had already begun it was decided that The Parkway should be oriented instead towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to be located on the site of the Fairmount Reservoir. The area to north that had already been cleared became a baseball field.
When The Parkway was completed in 1918, 1,300 residential, commercial and industrial buildings in its path had been razed. The destruction of a working-class neighborhood contributed to the downward population trend of the city center– by 1920, only 13,000 people lived between Chestnut and Vine. The community that remained between The Parkway and the Chinese Wall was left to languish for decades as a blighted enclave, unaffected by the cultural institutions that would soon come to their neighborhood. As a gateway to Fairmount Park, The Parkway quickly became a gateway to the western suburbs as well. By 1929, over 3,000 vehicles per hour traveled the Parkway during an average workday, battling congestion and undefined driving lanes.
It is worth noting one building that was spared demolition during this time. A project related to The Parkway was the widening of 20th Street in 1929 from the standard 40 feet to 90 feet. A considerable issue with this plan is that it would leave Saint Clement’s church extending into the middle of the street. But rather than demolishing the building an astounding alternative was developed. The Church acquired two properties to the west, raised the 5,500 ton church onto rails and pushed it back 40 feet onto new foundations. Completely paid for by the city, this feat of engineering was accomplished without a single mishap.
The Parkway was intended to be lined with grand buildings organized in three groupings. The lower portion was to have commercial buildings and the first designed specifically for The Parkway was the Bell Telephone building at 17th and Arch. In 1925, it was joined by the Georgian Revival headquarters of The Insurance Company of North America (now The Phoenix).
The central portion of the Parkway would have educational institutions. The Free Library of Philadelphia (by Horace Trumbauer, 1917), together with its twin, the Philadelphia Family Court (by John T. Windrim, 1941), were modeled after the twin palaces of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Designed in the Beaux Arts style, the capitals of the library’s massive Corinthian columns were carved in place. Just in front of the library, the 1928 Shakespeare Monument by Alexander Stirling Calder depicts Hamlet and Touchstone the fool representing Tragedy and Comedy. In 1934, the Franklin Institute, creator of the nation’s first weather bureau and formal courses in architecture, moved to its new, much larger home by John T. Windram on Logan Square. Before the final wall was erected in 1933, the 101 foot-long, 350 ton Baldwin 60000 steam locomotive was pulled into the building on temporary tracks. With the dedication of the museum, The Parkway was renamed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Next to the Franklin Institute on Winter Street, the Art Deco Board of Education Building was completed in 1930.
The upper portion of The Parkway was reserved for cultural institutions and by 1929 it was the location of two museums. The Rodin Museum by Paul Philippe Cret houses the largest collection of works by Auguste Rodin outside of France. Its gateway is a replica of the Chateau d’Issy, reconstructed by Rodin for his home in Meudon, France. The Parkway ends fittingly at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Begun in 1916, it is attributed to Horace Trumbauer, but is based on a design by Julian Abele, the first black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania school of architecture. The two side wings of this monumental assemblage of three Greek temples were completed first – under the correct assumption that Philadelphians would not let the connecting center portion go unfinished. The colossal Washington Memorial Fountain, with its allegorical figures, flora and fauna representing the four great waterways of America, (the Mississippi, the Potomac, the Delaware and the Hudson), was moved to its site at the foot of the Art Museum stairs in 1928.
The Parkway was designed to curve around Logan Square (thus creating its present-day configuration as a circle). The square itself, a tree-filled park with a small center fountain, was intended to be reworked into something more reminiscent of the Parisian traffic circle it would resemble. But at this point the Philadelphia Fountain Society suggested that they would donate a fountain in memory of their founder, Dr. Wilson Cary Swann. Dr. Swann had started the society in 1869 under the belief that the lack of drinking water for workers and animals led to problems with crime and alcohol. The fountain was designed by architect Wilson Eyre and the 3 bronze figures were created by Alexander Stirling Calder. The figures represent the rivers of Philadelphia – the Delware, Schulkill and Wissahickon – and took several years to finish. When the completed Swann Memorial Fountain was unveiled on July 23, 1924, the eve of the hottest day of the year, more that 10,000 people attended the dedication.
Other prewar neighborhood landmarks were constructed off the Parkway. In 1928, the Inquirer, then the third largest newspaper in the nation in terms of advertising sales, moved into its new headquarters in the Elverson Building at Broad and Callowhill Streets. The Pennsylvania Railroad submerged its tracks (now possible due to electrified trains) and replaced its aging Broad Street Station in the early 1930’s with 2 new stations: Suburban Station at 16th and Filbert Streets, and 30th Street Station, just over the Schuylkill River at Market Street. While Suburban Station is pure Art Deco, 30th Street Station uses this modern style to reinterpret classical forms such as the huge marble columns of the facade. Both stations were designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White.
By the end of WWII the city faced a critical housing shortage and an aging, deteriorating housing stock. The dominance of the automobile led to a substantial shifting of the region’s population to the newly built homes of the suburbs. But the Logan Square neighborhood defied this trend with the building of the Parkway House in 1952 on Pennsylvania Avenue. Designed by Gabriel Roth and Elizabeth Fleischer it is one of the first postwar luxury apartment buildings in the city as well as one of the first designed by a female architect. A combination of the Art Deco and International styles, it responds sensitively to its location near the Parkway.
The mood of the nation after the war was one of widespread optimism and excitement in the future. The old Victorian buildings built in the height of Philadelphia’s national prominence represented the antithesis of the forward-thinking mood of the day. The City Planning Commission, guided by strong leaders like Edmund Bacon, responded with massive urban renewal projects that would move Philadelphia squarely into the modern era and help convert a manufacturing economy into a service economy. One of these projects, Penn Center, would be the center piece of the city’s downtown revitilization and would bring extraordinary change to the Logan Square neighborhood. The Penn Center development was built on the site of Broad Street Station, its great train shed and elevated track viaduct. The station closed in 1952 and a year later it and the Chinese Wall were demolished (the train shed had been destroyed in a fire in 1923). In its place a series of modern apartment buildings, hotels, and office buildings arose. An underground Concourse of shops connected the center with the subway hubs under City Hall and Suburban Station. Narrow Filbert Street was widened to form Pennsylvania (later John F. Kennedy) Boulevard, which provided a dramatic approach to 30th Street Station. Nearby, the Municipal Services Building by Vincent G. Kling, a circular Hospitality Center and a new Bell Telephone Building were constructed. At this time The Parkway was modified to its current form. Prior to this it stretched from the Northwest corner of Center Square to a street in front of the Washington Memorial Fountain. In 1962, the north end of The Parkway was reconfigured to create Eakins Oval, named after the great American painter. The south end was shortened to create JFK Plaza, also designed by Kling. The powerful central fountain of the plaza was installed by the Fairmount Park Commission in 1969.
As early as 1930, there had been interest in increasing the capacity of Vine Street, due to increased traffic resulting from the opening of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 1926. Construction of the 12 lane roadway of the Vine Street Expressway began in the 1950’s, requiring the demolition of numerous buildings. Depressed below street level beginning at 18th Street, it would connect to the newly created Schuylkill Expressway. When the expressway opened to traffic on June 30, 1959, motorists were now able to travel non-stop from 18th Street all the way west to Valley Forge.
Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s the city battled problems shared by metropolitan areas throughout the nation: pollution, crime, racial tensions, overtaxed schools and inadequate city services. These issues, combined with the high city wage tax, increased the city-wide trend of suburbanization and abandoned houses. But the Logan Square neighborhood saw many positive changes during this time in addition to the Penn Center development. The four Bauhaus-style buildings of the Park Towne Place apartment complex, were completed in 1959. The Moore College of Art and Design, the oldest professional art college for women in America, moved from its Broad and Master building to Logan Square in 1960. The United Fund (United Way) built its headquarters on the Parkway in 1969. Each side of the building, designed by Mitchell/Giurgola, is unique, responding to the differing natural light conditions. A year later, The Philadelphia Electric Company built its headquarters on the site of an electric power station on Market Street at the Schuylkill. The top of the International style building contains an illuminated billboard. Now computerized, the billboard’s message was originally modified by manually adjusting the individual bulbs. Three years later, Community College of Philadelphia moved into its new home in the renovated 1901 former Mint Building on the 1600 block of Spring Garden Street. As the sixth largest institution of higher education in the state, the College continued to make major improvements to its Main Campus throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture in JFK Plaza was originally on loan for the bicentennial celebration in 1976, but there was such a public outcry when it was later removed that the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers paid for its permanent installation. From this point on, JFK Plaza became better known by its nickname “Love Park”. As the 1970’s came to a close, Pope John Paul II brought 150,000 people together when he celebrated mass from an enormous platform built over Swann fountain.
GlaxoSmithKline completed its tower on Broad Street in 1980. The area centered around 17th Street between Vine and Callowhill Streets was dubbed Franklintowne in the 80’s as part of an urban renewal program. In 1983, the last parcel on Logan Square was developed into the Four Season’s Hotel and the office tower One Logan Square, which is set back from the Parkway to adhere to a strict height limitation. While this height restriction was required by law, it was actually an unwritten “gentleman’s agreement” that was capping the height of buildings citywide. It was understood that no building in Philadelphia should be taller than the brim of the hat on Penn’s statue atop City Hall. But in 1984 work began on One Liberty Place, whose spire would best Penn’s statue by over 400 feet. Within the next 7 years, the Logan Square neighborhood would see four new skyscrapers erected: on Market Street, the twin towers and beautiful plaza of Commerce Square and the G. Fred DiBona, Jr. (Independence Blue Cross) Building, its planned twin never constructed; on Arch Street, the Bell Atlantic Tower, its red granite reflecting the brick color of traditional Philadelphia architecture.
Attributed by some to Mayor Rendell, Philadelphia in the 1990’s experienced a Renaissance. New restaurants, shops and cultural venues flowered throughout Center City and beyond. Lured by the amenities of urban living, new residents, particularly young professionals and baby boomers, began filling new and rehabilitated houses and condos. Decades of work paid off in 2003 when the Schuylkill Banks Park trail was constructed, connecting Center City with Valley Forge. Improvements to park landscaping and lighting continued over the next couple of years. In 2005, Comcast Corporation broke ground on its new headquarters at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard. Designed by Robert A. M. Stern, the glass-faced tower will rise to 975 feet and be the tallest building in the city. It will also provide a grand new entrance to Suburban Station and the regional rail lines. In 2006, the landscaping of Logan Square was completely redone. New park benches, walkways and plantings were joined by replacements of the aging Paulownia trees. Pedestrian access was redesigned to make it easier to access the majestic heart of the neighborhood. The following year, the adjacent Aviator Park received a similar treatment.
Looking to the future, it seems that the vibrancy and change that have been a consistent theme in the Logan Square neighborhood’s past will continue. Due to be completed in 2008 is the largest mixed use complex in the city at 1601 Vine Street. The project is planned to include a 1.2 million square feet of residential, hotel and retail space. The Central Library is poised to add a 180,000 square foot glass-covered expansion by Moshe Safdie. After a complex legal battle, the way appears to be paved to bring the Barnes Foundation Museum to its new home at 20th and The Parkway. The Barnes holdings include the second largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. There are also many proposed plans for the area. A new residential complex, Parkway22, is on track to replace the Best Western Hotel. Funds are being raised to install a skate park with an award-winning design just west of Eakins Oval. A new office building called Two Pennsylvania Plaza is planned for the remaining parcel on the Comcast Center block. A thirty-year project called River City envisions a series of high-rise office and residential buildings covering the SEPTA viaduct north of JFK Boulevard and then north along the Schuylkill River. As these changes layer themselves over the built legacy of 200 years of history, one thing is likely to remain the same – that the Logan Square neighborhood is an exciting, attractive and welcoming place to live, work and visit.