Final Thesis Process Book

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Final Thesis Process Book


  • 1develop the dividemaria lyate

  • 2

  • 3develop the divide

  • 4Thesis presented to the

    Faculty of the Department of Architecture

    College of Architecture and the Built Environment

    Philadelphia University

    In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of


    Thesis Studio Instructor Susan Frostn

    Academic AdvisorChristopher Harnish

    Professional AdvisorLance Loethen

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    May 2013

    Develop The Divide


    Maria Lyate

  • 5table of contentsI. Title Page

    II. Table of Contents

    III. Thesis Abstract

    IV. Topic Paper

    V. Thesis Objectives & Investigative Methods

    VI. Appendix

    VII. Works Cited

    VIII. Site Analysis

    IX. Site Documentation

    X.Program Selection

    XI. Preliminary Design

    XII. Process Documentation

    XIII. Final Design Documentation

    XIV. Analysis/Critique of Completed Project

  • 6abstract.proposal

  • 7abstract.proposal

  • 8Philadelphia holds great historical and industrial value but is currently overgrown with expressways and fragmented by un-inhabitable spaces. The addition of intricate street networks throughout Philadelphia has resulted in the decay of social and natural interaction. Inside the urban boundaries of a city, people, buildings, and streets coexist but because they all function within the same constrained boundaries, people and streets specifically clash. Walkable pathways are meant to connect a person to their destination and should be a safe and even sustainable solution to excessive automobile transportation. Corridors can act as people movers interiorly and exteriorly whether they are sidewalks, dirt paths, or hallways. Unfortu-nately, these paths are truly failing to provide a more reliable alternative because of their disjointed patterns. Each district or neighborhood no matter the location should essentially consist of a series of corridors and connections both accessible through motorized transit and human powered transit. With so much of our transportation focused on mass transit and the automobile, neighborhood boundaries are abruptly drawn when new roadways are installed. These edge conditions are where problems reside. Today, the edge is a divide between decay and inhabitation, which is in turn limiting the natural and economic growth of Philadelphia. There is an opportunity here to develop an environmentally beneficial route for the public to safely and enjoyably connect to their destinations while also benefiting surrounding neighborhoods with residential and commercial redevelopment. It is time to develop the divide.

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    The ideal city of the future promotes diversity, walkability, and most importantly sustainability through both materiality and transportation. Though the word sustainability has taken to be a strong issue in our daily lives, its applications are often perceived incorrectly. Most believe that living sustainably means adding a green roof here and there, but the concepts of sustainable design are far richer. Due to a growing trend in urban sprawl, the constriction and congestion of cities are becoming undesirable. Transportation is key to the success of all cities as well as all communities within a city. With such an emphasis on the use of cars and public transportation, we are under the assumption that walkways are just as efficient. A city contains many pathways of all scales. Some see these pathways as corridors, which are simply interior and exterior paths. They are varying in size and density throughout the city, but their commonality is the fact that they move people. Whether walking, shop-ping, biking, or eating, these woven pathways join a person to their destination. Though walking paths should be a safe and even sustainable solution to excessive automobile transportation, they are truly failing to provide a more reliable alternative to the car.

    Today, the divide between decay and inhabitation is strictly drawn within a few neighborhoods of the downtown district. Philadelphia alone holds great historical value within its various wards and districts, but is overgrown with expressways and uninhabitable spaces due to the addition of inefficient street networks. There is an opportunity here to develop an environmentally beneficial route for commuters to safely and enjoyably connect to their destinations. With the addition of this pedestrian pathway, residents and visitors will be able to interact with Philadelphia as a whole while experiencing various programs along the way. In addition to its benefit to commuters, surrounding neighborhoods will gain both residential and commercial rejuvenation and redevelopment within the industrial zones which allowed for Philadelphias initial growth hundreds of years ago.

    [1-2]Scranton, Philip B. Philadelphias Industrial History: A Context and Overview. (Workshop of the World-Philadelphia, 1990).[3-4]Farr, Douglas. Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008, 19).[5]Transportation - The 2012 Statistical Abstract - U.S. Census Bureau. (Census Bureau, 2012).

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    corridor: _A long passage in a building from which doors lead into rooms _A belt of land between two other areas, typically having a particular feature or giving access to a particular area What it is: _varying in size & density throughout a city _people mover _walking, shopping, biking, eating, commuting _void

    What it will be: _encourage positive social interactions _safe & sustainable solution to excessive automobile transportation _reliable alternative to something dangerous & disjointed

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    From roughly 1880 through the 1920s, Philadelphias industrial districts supported an array of mills and plants but no city in the United States had a wider range of textile products to offer. Philadelphia was drastically expanding as it introduced more and more goods, but transportation to and from was becoming an issue in need of solving. Philadelphias industrial foundation was more of a network of separate specialties. Each neighborhood was specifically focused on one kind of production. This industrial process is what essentially divided neighborhoods. Though it was a division, it also brought all producers together to combine their specialties into one product. By the mid-nineteenth century, a pattern had emerged of smaller industries interspersed with domestic housing throughout much of Old City and Center City. This meant that rather than consisting of multiple large-scale factories focused on production, various smaller businesses existed within districts producing specific individ-ual items. These small, often family owned businesses would produce their part of the good and then continue to pass it to a more specialized business that would complete the next step. This process allowed for a grand network of fabrication that positively linked areas of the city of Philadelphia. Thousands of modest scale firms were linked together through contracts and trade in elaborate ways that make it possible to view the city as a vast workshop [1]. This industrial fabric that stretched across Philadelphia unfortunately suffered with the demise of the canal system because of the rise of railroads and motor transportation. This transformed the built environment of Philadelphia as the rail lines of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia & Reading, and Baltimore & Ohio Railroads edged the city on various levels [2]. Holes were torn in the fabric because of the division created by these lines. The most devastating issue being the fact that transportation had become too difficult. Busi-nessmen and women were no longer able to safely or easily walk or bike their product to the next neighbor. In turn, previously existing business connections were severed and the city limits became strictly defined. [1-2]Scranton, Philip B. Philadelphias Industrial History: A Context and Overview. (Workshop of the World-Philadelphia, 1990).[3-4]Farr, Douglas. Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008, 19).[5]Transportation - The 2012 Statistical Abstract - U.S. Census Bureau. (Census Bureau, 2012).[6-10]Vine Street Expressway Historic Overview. (Philadelphia Area Roads, Crossings and, 2011).

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    With the opening of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 1926, Vine Street had become an important east-west arterial route through Center City Philadelphia. In 1945, as part of the citys postwar development plan, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission proposed a depressed six-lane expressway along the Vine Street corridor [10]. Similar in design to todays Vine Street Expressway, the route was to be bound by service roads to allow for cross use within flanking neighborhoods. The expressway was meant to be open to all vehicles of all sizes and uses. The route originally ordered to have stone archways and overpasses to be landscaped. The landscaping was to camouflage the submerged concrete lanes sub-merged below. Between the main roadway, service roads, and landscaping, including construction and additional right-of-way costs, the expressway was estimated to cost $26 million [8]. The Vine Street Expressway was to be the northern part of the Center City loop that also comprised of the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76), the Delaware Expressway (I-95) and the unbuilt Crosstown Expressway (I-695) along the South Street-Lombard Street corridor. In 1950, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission took the recommendations of the City Council one step further by providing routing and interchange plans [1