May 19, 2003

I sometimes have occasion to walk past a beautiful but modest old building in Center City Philadelphia, the old Western Union Telegraph building (photo) at 11th and Locust Streets.

The building appears to have been abandoned years ago, and each time I looked at it I thought, "What a shame." It's an incredible location that would work well as either a residential or commercial development. "Why is nothing happening here?" I thought time and again.

Late last week I passed the Western Union building again. I was pleased to see three construction workers in front, taking their lunch break. I approached them and asked what they were working on, thinking the building most likely was being converted into loft condominiums or into a mixed retail, restaurant, and residential sort of complex.


This is, after all, Philadelphia. The construction workers informed me the Western Union building is being converted into a parking garage for nearby Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

What a waste.


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