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Inga Saffron is the Architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Aided by an army of lawyers, consultants, and architects, Children's Hospital seems well on its way to winning approval for a huge, auto-centric office park in the middle of a thriving rowhouse neighborhood on the Schuylkill. All it needs is an endorsement on Tuesday from the Planning Commission; then it's off to the Zoning Board for a routine variance.
Fairmount Park is to Philadelphia what Central Park is to New York City, yet it has never managed to become the same kind of go-to, citywide leisure destination. While the Schuylkill's banks are often jammed with people, the crowds quickly thin as you push into the hinterlands, the big swaths of greenery known to park officials (but few others) as East and West Fairmount Park.