Inside Scoop on Next City’s Insider Tour

Last Tuesday, EB Realty opened up the doors of the Divine Lorraine Hotel and Metropolitan Opera House to Next City supporters.

Credit: Andrew Joffe (courtesy of EB Realty Management Corp.)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

If you happened to drive by the corner of Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue last Tuesday afternoon, you may have noticed an unusual crowd gathered in front of the Divine Lorraine. Huddled in the rain at the foot of the steps of the looming architectural landmark, Next City supporters awaited the start of a guided tour of the former hotel and the Metropolitan Opera House sitting just three blocks north.

Considered by some a blighted eyesore, the mysterious Divine Lorraine has long since intrigued graffiti artists, vandals, urban explorers, the architecturally-curious — history buffs and developers alike. Eric Blumenfeld is one of those developers who saw beauty — and opportunity — in the abandoned hotel. Earlier this year, Blumenfeld purchased the Divine with plans to convert the ten-story building into luxury loft apartments, with restaurants filling the ornate ground floor. Down the street, plans for redevelopment of the Metropolitan Opera House are also afoot. Bob Gollwitzer, project manager and director of marketing for Blumenfeld’s firm EB Realty Management Corp., led Next City supporters and staff on the tour of the Divine Lorraine and Met, providing historical background, sharing plans and visions for their redevelopment, and inviting participants to engage in shaping the future. (He also dedicated a precious few minutes to warning the curious against traipsing into those areas where floorboards have eroded to a less than reliable state.Note for the future: Avoid plywood boards on the floors of abandoned buildings)

The afternoon concluded in the lobby of the Met, now home to a church, Holyghost Headquarters Revival Center. After a tour of the former opera house’s stunning stage and upper levels, tour participants shared a toast with Holyghost Pastor Mark Hatcher, raising our glasses in celebration of a successful 2012. We at Next City are grateful for those who shared the experience with us, as well as those who couldn’t be there, but have supported this year’s work in other ways. We look forward to what 2013 will bring — and look forward to sharing it with you, our readers. And a hearty thanks to EB Reality for opening their doors to us!

Check out this time lapse video of Philadelphia’s skyline from the roof of the Divine Lorraine (credit: abadrosa on Vimeo) and photos of the event below (credit: photographer Paul Gargagliano, Hazel Photo).

lorr 001 01 X1 1360×907 from abadrosa on Vimeo.

Gallery: Inside Scoop on Next City’s Insider Tour

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Tags: philadelphia

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1104 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous at $5/Month
  • Anonymous in Auburn, WA at $10/Month
  • Bianca in Philadelphia, PA at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉
Donate
×