Historic Preservation

Posted January 7, 2020
  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    Integrate transit stops with public spaces to establish major HUBs as community gathering center. Improve streetscapes with uniform trees and planters. Install street amenities such as banners on light poles to establish and reinforce sense of place. Encourage outdoor seating to enhance street vibrancy and sense of security.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    The proposal recognizes the five traffic nodes as important HUBs and by focusing development around them, hopes to create catalytic impact on their adjacent streets to ultimately encourage the adaptive reuse of vacant stores and infill developments on vacant lots. These HUBs are envisioned as the integration of transit stops and public open spaces. The goal aims to increase walkability, improve transit accessibility, reduce vehicle miles travelled, and densify land use to promote an urban pedestrian-friendly environment.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    Site Challenges: high store vacancies, ineffective use of land with excessive parking lots, a lack of public open spaces, and rich yet under-utilized community resources. Site Strengths: profound history, active pedestrian foot traffic and transit ridership The study area is strategically bounded by major traffic nodes, with the Germantown and Chelten Regional Rail Stations on the two ends, and three busy transit stops spread at equal increments in between at the intersections of W. Chelten Ave and Wayne Ave, W. Chelten Ave and Greene St., and W. Chelten Ave and Germantown Ave. HUB seeks to adopt a transit-oriented development approach to embrace the history and resources within the study area to establish Chelten Ave as a major commercial and transit corridor.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    Short-Term: Enhance streetscape by adding trees and planters. Clean streets by removing trash, repairing curbs and pavements to improve pedestrian experience. Install uniform street trash cans, street lights, and street signs to direct visitors to community resources and identify important historic sites. Install banners on light poles to establish sense of place. Regularly clean streets to maintain quality streets. Medium-Term: Improve the appearance of storefronts by cleaning up graffiti and repairing broken windows. Clean vacant lots to host temporary events such as farmer’s markets and community events. Convert vacant lots around major hubs into public open spaces and provide amenities such as seating. Renovate and improve the quality of regional rail stations and install consistent bus stations to establish a sense of place and an urban environment. Implement better parking regulations and enforcements to enhance street quality and traffic safety. Long-Term: Establish the five transportation nodes as ma

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    By concentrating public spaces with transit nodes and providing amenities to serve both needs, these HUBs will become community centers spread along Chelten Ave. The improvements on the major HUBs established will mutually reinforce one another to increase walkability, improve transit ridership and frequency, encourage multi-modal travel and ultimately reduce vehicle traffic to transform the entire Chelten Ave into a walkable transit corridor. These HUBs will become nodes that connect community resources together.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    In the short-term, vacant lots will be cleaned to encourage temporary events such as farmer’s markets and community festivals. In the long-term, the vibrancy of the commercial corridor will encourage more infill developments to densify land use in the neighborhood and curate a mixed-use environment.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    The HUBs are envisioned as an integration of transit stops and public space. By concentrating public spaces with transit nodes and providing amenities to serve both needs, these HUBs will become community centers spread along Chelten Ave. The concentration of child day care centers along Chelten Ave also suggests for more children-friendly playgrounds to be integrated into these HUBs.

  • Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni's proposal for Chelten HUB

    Bus stops as exhibits of historical neighborhood photos to provide information on how the street looked like in the past and emphasize community history. Signs at regional rail stations to direct visitors to community resources and historic sites. Bulletin providing guidance to community events. Murals to exhibit the history of Germantown. Encourage historic-themed bike tours to attract visitors to Germantown.

Current Students Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni Win Second Place at The Big Picture: Revealing Germantown’s Assets Competition

Chelten HUB

Two second-year students, Xue Fei Lin & Zhen Ni, from the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Graduate Program in Historic Preservation won the second-place prize at Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards

The competition focused on Chelten Avenue, the heart of the Germantown business district in northwest Philadelphia. The most economically diverse neighborhood in the city, Germantown is an African American community which bridges the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of North Philadelphia to the east with the wealthier Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods to the west.

The central question to the challenge asked: “how might this historic shopping district be designed to better support the local community, improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians (and all modes of transit), and help reveal all the nearby amenities available to shoppers: from public parks and swimming pools to historic homes and urban farms?”

Lin and Ni’s proposal took a three-prong approach—short, medium, and long-term plans—to improve the transportation, wayfinding, public space, and use of vacant land making Chelten Avenue not just economic and travel hub, but tapping into the environs' existing H.U.B qualities, what they term Historic, Urban, and Beyond.

Download their presentation board.