Inga Saffron believes there is architecture and there are places, and you can't write about one without writing about the other.
Exactly one year ago, a piece of masonry began to peel away from the top of a six-story building at 16th and Walnut. Bricks rained down in a torrent, crashing through the ceiling of the adjacent Lululemon store and injuring three young women - one of them seriously - who had been shopping for workout clothes. Fortunately, everyone else managed to walk away, shaken but unscathed.
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Maybe the third time will be the charm for the place we've grown used to calling University City. Originally an African American neighborhood known as Black Bottom, the portion between Market Street and Lancaster Avenue was a tight mesh of rowhouses and small businesses until the early 1960s, when it was leveled to provide growing room for Penn and Drexel. As a token, the city set aside a full block on 36th Street to build a cutting-edge, science high school. It lasted all of 33 years.
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