• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Examining the Goldtex standoff | SEPTA is tops | Clark Park as sanctuary | Summer tourism increase

  • More people are taking in Philly's sites and museums - like the reopened Rodin - this summer.


In her column this week Inga Saffron visits the Goldtex loft project where tensions between union protesters and the developers continue to escalate, as the project site remains under a months-long protest siege because Post Brothers is not using 100% union labor. Despite assaults, stall tactics, and threats, the Goldtex conversion keeps moving forward (albeit months behind schedule) as the building industry watches closely to see if this project could shift the city’s development environment. “By loosening up Philadelphia's closed-shop tradition, the brothers could reset the economics, making large construction projects more feasible,” Inga writes. Now, she adds, would be a good time “to reassess the city's relationship with its trade unions. Too bad few are willing to initiate a conversation about it.”

SEPTA is the best. The Daily News reports that the American Public Transportation Association named SEPTA the best big-city transit agency in North America, citing the agency’s huge ridership increases, improvements in customer service, and sustainability initiatives.

Teenager Cavhanah Baht T'om sees Clark Park as her sanctuary. For Philly Youth Radio, she explains: "The rainy and cold days are best because the park is empty and no little kids will be hogging the swings, and I can get on them and listen to my music. There’s no schoolwork. There’s no drama. It helps me calm down.”

More tourists and conventioneers are visiting Philly’s sites and museums this summer than last, the Inquirer reports. Big museum exhibitions, the new Barnes, and the reopened Rodin are all seeing lots of traffic. “The increases may be modest overall, officials say, but the gains are real.” The small exception is Independence National Historical Park.

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