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    • A customer browses the shelves at Shakespeare & Co. in Center City.

Independent bookstores are coming back in Philly, across the U.S.

This is the age of Amazon. Brick-and-mortar retail is flailing. And print books? Those were eventually supposed to go the way of the dodo after the introduction of Kindle and other…

    • Birds circle Mount Moriah Cemetery's historic gatehouse. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Mount Moriah cemetery could become nature sanctuary

On the edge of Philadelphia, Mount Moriah cemetery sprawls over 380 acres, spreading into Delaware County and sheltering 80,000 thousand graves. But when Paulette Rhone goes there to visit her husband’s…

    • A Philadelphia judge owned this rowhome at 1514 N. Hollywood St. bought the adjacent vacant lots from the city to use as sideyards. He then sold all three properties. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philly judge makes $135,000 gaming city land sales

A Philadelphia judge played the city’s land sale process to flip a publicly owned lot for a windfall, again calling into question city’s process for appraising and selling its land. The…

    • A city street sweeper cleans Chester Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philly street cleaning pilot will 'blow trash into street' to bypass parking issues

The city has revealed the first details about a planned street cleaning pilot project that will endeavor to improve Philadelphia’s lackluster litter collection efforts. The new information comes the same week…

    • he National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia on South Broad Street.

Shrine of St. Rita on South Broad protected from wrecking ball

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia won admission to the local register of historic places, preserving the immense Catholic church facing the Broad Street Diner from demolition or serious…

    • 2019 04 kpaynter street seeping

PPA makes millions ticketing drivers for blocking street sweepers that rarely show

Why is the Philadelphia Parking Authority ticketing cars for blocking street sweepers — on streets the city doesn’t actually sweep 75 percent of the time? Ryan Briggs and Aaron Moselle answer…

    • GROCERIES

Shutdown: SNAP funded through February but outage glitch unfixed

It wasn’t until Colleen Goodwyn got to the front of the line at Aldi that the cashier told her EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) wasn’t working. That meant the store couldn’t accept…

    • 2019 01 11 e lee corey loftus 1515 arch philadelphia historical commission penn student preservation advocate 2

23-year-old superfan wins protections for West Philly gingerbread houses

Between the University of Pennsylvania and Cedar Park in West Philadelphia lies what is believed to be the largest collection of Victorian homes in America. Only a handful of them are…

    • A vacant lot in North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia halts most public land sales, pending reforms

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority has put the brakes on a large portion of public land sales. The move follows a blistering Philadelphia Inquirer report that showed political meddling and chronic undervaluation…

    • Giovanni Hatter. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

In racially diverse 14th District, Philly police target black drivers 3 times more than whites, analysis shows

It was a cold January evening in North Philadelphia when police officers pulled over Giovanni Hatter in his minivan. He was told he missed a stop sign. When the officers ran…

    • An unswept street in the Germantown Special Services District on Nov. 2, 2018. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Germantown businesses revolt against taxing district that didn’t deliver on clean streets promise

Jamar L. Kelly faces a monumental challenge. The interim executive director of the Germantown Special Services District knows his organization is failing at its core mission of keeping the neighborhood’s commercial…

    • 2018 08 07 e lee 30th street station restoration lobby 1 1

Congressman Boyle: Amtrak open to long-term plan for new split-flap sign at 30th Street Station

Passengers and history buffs worried about the fate of the iconic split-flap schedule board at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station got a new reason to hope Monday. According to U.S. Rep. Brendan…

    • Septa  on Walnut Street

SEPTA facing $63 million capital budget shortfall over motorists' lawsuit

SEPTA is bracing for a possible $63 million shortfall in its capital budget in 2019, pending the outcome of a contentious lawsuit filed in federal court by two motorists’ groups. The…

    • Single-family houses with ground floor garages recently rose on the 200 block of Arch Street.

3 reasons why Philadelphia won’t follow Minneapolis’s ban on single-family zoning

For people who follow U.S. housing policy, 2018 ended with a radical suggestion hanging in the air. In December, Minneapolis confronted a growing affordability crisis and longstanding patterns of racial segregation…

    • Historic Garsed-Bromley house, aka Northwood Frankford Community Y, February 2014

Frankford Y's new owner promises he won't bring opioid recovery center to historic mansion

After a decade of vacancy, a new owner has taken control of a neglected 19th century Northeast Philadelphia landmark. The brownstone mansion at 4704 Leiper Street, which most recently operated as…

    • Kickball in Weccacoe Playgorund. (Neal Santos for PlanPhilly)
Eyes on the Street

In Common: Bethel Burying Ground memorial to advance in 2019, creating learning opportunity for the living at Weccacoe Playground

Our 2018 series about Philly's changing public spaces concludes in Queen Village where a new memorial is being developed to honor a historic black cemetery within a popular playground. It’s a…

    • A shared lane for buses and bikes on Chestnut Street. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Eyes on the Street

Safer streets within reach in 2019

A veteran Philadelphia journalist once joked to me that a plan in Philadelphia is like raindrops in a storm. I’ve often tended to agree with him. Philadelphia does a ton of…

    • The Frankford Chocolate Factory at 21st and Washington Streets is in the process of demolition.

Philadelphia demolitions hit record high in 2018

Developers began tearing down a record number of Philadelphia buildings in 2018, with more demolitions getting started over the last 12 months than any other year on record. Data from the…

    • Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla is holding a proposal for a  five-cent charge on single-use bags. (AP file photo)

19 N.J. cities banned plastic bags in 2018. Philly could join them in 2019.

This might be the year when the public — in the Philadelphia region and across the globe —  started to realize where many of our plastic bags and straws end up.…

    • Arts & Crafts Holding advertises 1217 Spring Garden Street as

'Spring Arts' remake dogged by tenant complaints, code violations

When Arts & Crafts Holdings bought the property at 1217 Spring Garden St. for $15.7 million in April, the Philadelphia development company pitched tenants in the aging loft building on a…

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