Some readers have asked what is that ephemeral large building beside the 30th street station in the April 10th posting.
It is the Cira Centre, a new building on the Philadelphia skyline, just completed a few years ago. (See 4/28/2008 posting, Visiting Philadelphia.) Philadelphians pronounce it “SEAR-ra.” It connects to the 30th Street Station SEPTA platform, so I am aware of it each time I go into Philly. The location was a long-underused space that was last a parking platform over the tracks coming in from the north. The Centre contains some Amtrak and legal offices, but nothing I use, so I have never been inside. Given the current economic conditions, I wonder how successful it is.
The angles on the building are meant to give it a different look from different directions, and the all-glass facade reflects the sky that artfully camouflages it’s bulk. I understand it has banks of LED lights hidden behind the windows that are impressive at night.
There is talk of building a larger, matching Cira Centre South on the other side of the huge, old Post Office building next to the 30th Street Station. The University of Penn is somehow involved in all of this and the old Post Office would be converted to business offices. The dream is to connect the University with both sides of the Schuylkill.
Whether this ever comes about remains to be seen, but I am amazed at the financial power universities have these days. The University of Delaware in Newark now owns the truly-humongous former Chrysler assembly plant that adjoins their old property. I have heard vague references to make it into some sort of research facility, probably something to do with green energy or whatever can get government funds. We may even have our own Delaware Cira Centre someday, but almost certain to be named The Biden Building.