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  • 24 Feb 2023 9:55 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Some of the tallest buildings in Philadelphia will go dark for a few months this year to prevent migratory birds from striking the buildings as they head north.

    The participating buildings will shut off the lights from midnight to 6 a.m. every night between April 1 and May 31, and Aug. 15 and Nov. 15 to accommodate dozens of the migratory bird species.

    Buildings that have already signed on to the Lights Out Philly initiative include Comcast Technology Center and Comcast Center, Jefferson Center, One South Broad, One Liberty Place, Two Liberty Place, and 1515 Market Street. More than 100 commercial, residential and municipal participants have signed up to turn off or dim their lights during spring and fall migrations.

  • 08 Feb 2023 3:36 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    With downtown skyscrapers, excellent museums and new budget flights, this US city on the east coast is giving the Big Apple a run for its money.

    Welcome to Philadelphia — New York’s fun (and more affordable) cousin | Travel | The Sunday Times (

  • 08 Feb 2023 12:38 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphia joins a growing number of suburban Pennsylvania and New Jersey districts giving students a late pass post Super Bowl.

    Philadelphia School District to have two-hour delay on Monday, post-Super Bowl (

  • 08 Feb 2023 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    By Barbara Halpern

    There are many benefits awarded to CCRA members. But we represent the entire community, not just our members. So, each year five garden plots (four 10X10 and one 10X15) in the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden (25th and Spruce St) are awarded to non-members of the Center City Residents’ Association (CCRA) for a one season term. Members, alternatively, are eligible for a 6 year plot at the garden, and don’t risk a lottery to get their plot (although there’s currently a wait list). For all the labor involved in creating your garden, membership is clearly the best deal! 

    To be eligible for the lottery for a one year plot, candidates must be bona fide residents of CCRA’s geographic boundaries (Schuylkill River to the West side of Broad St; between the North side of South and the South side of John F. Kennedy Boulevard). Winners pay a one-time fee of $65 for 10X10 and $85 for 10X15 plot. 

    To enter the lottery, please send an email with your name, address and phone number to with the subject line “garden lottery”: Requests must reach the destination by March 1, 2023. The drawing will take place in early March and winners will be contacted by phone or email.

    One entry per household. If you are a member of CCRA and are interested in becoming eligible for a six year plot, send an email to with your name, address and phone number, with subject line “garden wait list”.

  • 07 Feb 2023 4:19 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Under a transition plan approved Tuesday by the improvement district’s board, Levy, 76, will remain president and CEO until the end of December. Prema Katari Gupta, CCD’s current Vice President for Parks and Public Realm, will take over on January 1, 2024. Levy will hold an advisory role through 2024.

    Center City District CEO Paul Levy to step down at end of 2023 (

  • 07 Feb 2023 2:36 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    In a city of endless hoagie choices, these are the spots you can always count on.

    25 Essential Philadelphia Hoagie Shops (

  • 07 Feb 2023 1:48 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    2023 is shaping up to be a consequential year for new development in Philadelphia. A number of major projects that survived economic headwinds are set to open while others face an uncertain future due to the economy and, in some cases, community resistance.

    23 Greater Philadelphia projects to watch in 2023 - Philadelphia Business Journal (

  • 01 Feb 2023 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    Written by Susan Kahn

    It was Kermit the Frog who once said, “It’s not easy being green,” but it could have been said about the Schuylkill River Park trees. Park visitors in the past week may have noticed that workers were busy pruning dead branches and removing five dead trees, most notably a stand of Tulip Poplars near 25th Street. These were just a few of 18 dead trees identified in the course of last fall’s inventory undertaken by the Arboretum. Thanks to the generosity of the Center City Residents’ Association, the Arboretum was able to tackle the first phase of the work identified by this study.

    All five of the trees removed showed significant decay despite their relative youth. (See photos below.) In fact, the removed Tulip Poplars were only a quarter the age that these trees typically reach under ideal conditions. Happily, much of the wood that was removed enjoys a second life. At the nature play area at the back of the playground, tree “cookies,” stumps and twisty branches inspire imaginative play and problem solving. Dead branches reduced to wood chips will be used to support the remaining park trees.

    Yet, it is worth asking why these trees and many other of our park trees enjoy such short lifespans. The answer lies predominantly in the park soil. Compaction is one of the biggest health risks to trees and is caused by excessive traffic or activity on the soil around the root zone. Compaction or compression occurs because excessive weight can press the soil particles together very tightly reducing the pore space between them which holds air and water necessary to trees’ vital functions. And our park soil is extremely compacted, not only from current uses but also from historical ones.

    Beginning in 1800, the land on which the park sits was heavily industrialized. The area served the ship and barge traffic up and down the river with warehouses and brick works. This use transitioned to rail yards, slaughterhouses, and trash yards by the end of the century. By the middle of the 20th Century, most industry had abandoned the banks of the tidal Schuylkill. What remained consisted of transportation infrastructure, including rail lines that crisscrossed the area in and around the community garden. Shortly before the establishment of the park in 1966, the bowl area actually served as a paved parking lot. When the park was established, topsoil was simply deposited on top of heavily compacted soil and paving material.

    As if the historical uses didn’t result in enough soil compaction, the current uses of the park continue to compact the soil. The park is enjoyed not only by people who traverse the paved pathways. The green areas are also enjoyed by picnicking families, running school children, frisbee playing young people and dog walkers, further compacting the soil in which the trees grow.

    The answer is not to rope off the park from active use. Rather it is to recognize these challenges when choosing new trees and caring for existing ones. This means choosing varieties of new trees that can better tolerate compacted soil. It means relieving tree stresses by excavating soil away from root collars and removing girdling roots. Finally, it means applying liberal amounts of mulch to the root zone of our trees.

    Arboretum volunteers are working to create healthy conditions for the next generation of park trees. Come out to help plant, spread mulch and grow the neighborhood canopy!

  • 26 Jan 2023 3:33 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    A new report from Center City District/Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CCD/CPDC), Pedestrian Vitality: Momentum Continues to Build, documents that pedestrian activity in the core of Center City continued to increase during the last quarter of 2022 and into the first two weeks of January 2023.

    Center City District | Pedestrian Vitality: Momentum Continues to Build (

  • 20 Jan 2023 12:48 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    While the Year of the Tiger was seen as a powerful period of action, and at times, impulse, The Rabbit sign is expected to usher in a softer period on self-reflection.

    Lunar New Year: It’s the Year of the Rabbit and, finally, we can all chill (

Center City Quarterly

CCRA publishes the Center City Quarterly to provide information on Center City people and events from the point of local residents.  You'll be guaranteed to learn something interesting about your neighborhood in every issue!

Archived issues of the Quarterly are provided in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have the free Adobe Acrobat reader, you can download it directly from Adobe.

Advertisers:  To advertise in the Center City Quarterly, download our AdvertiserForm and email the completed form to or return to us by mail with your payment.  Upon receipt of your completed form, a member of the Newsletter Committee will contact you regarding any specific requirements.

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1900 Market St, Fl 8, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215.546.6719 | Email


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