• 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.

February 4: No criminal charges in fatal factory fire | Shirt Corner demolitions | Roosevelt Blvd water main break | Philadelphia's consolidation | Keeping Walk A Crooked Mile open

Good morning Streeters. Look out for ice this morning and brace yourselves for more winter storms this week. There are two more heading our way.

After a nearly two-year grand jury investigation there will be no criminal charges in the tragic Buck Hosiery fire, which left two firefighters dead. The grand jury found fault with the deadbeat owners and the city’s Revenue, Licenses & Inspections, and Fire departments for failing to do enough. "Inspections were performed, notices were issued, but nothing ever happened." District Attorney Seth Williams said. "Despite their regular complaints, neighbors were left with an eyesore that soon became a fire and death trap."

The development planned to replace Shirt Corner had intended to reuse and repair parts of historic 19th-century mercantile buildings on Market, but engineers found significant structural issues that will instead force their demolition. Inga Saffron reports that bulges and major cracks in the façade compromise these buildings too much and several engineers and the city determined they should come down. The developer, Alterra, says it will replicate the historic buildings. Demolition is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

An 8-inch water main broke along Roosevelt Boulevard at Unruh Avenue, closing the Boulevard’s outer southbound lanes from Tyson to Harbison avenues. The temperature is below freezing, so ice is a complication as crews work on emergency repairs.

On February 2, 160 years ago, Philadelphia consolidated, pushed in part by population growth, infrastructure needs, and civil unrest. Hidden City Daily offers a look back in appreciation and how consolidation paved the way for the modern city.

Can community support save Walk A Crooked Mile bookshop in the Mount Airy train station? Daily News columnist Helen Ubiñas reports that the 18-year old shop is closing and wonders if there’s another way forward, like a community owned co-op, to keep this institution alive.


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