Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Class Map Space: Rittenhouse Square

Image taken from Google Maps
Rittenhouse Square is apart of the original five open green spaces that were designed by William Penn during the 17th century. The park is located between 18th and 19th along Walnut Street. Since the 18th century, Rittenhouse Square was highly ranked and surrounded by those within a higher economic class. High-rise buildings, popular restaurants, residential mansions, two hotels, and luxury apartment complexes surround the park today. The layout of the main walkways can be described as diagonal, but then are intercepted my smaller circular walkways as it comes to the middle of the square. The park is made up of a variety of trees, park benches, and green landscaping. It has a few public art pieces that include sculptures, where one can be dated back to 1832. The park is utilized in a variety of ways from person to person and includes dog walkers, runners, people taking a break from work, leisurely activity from locals, and tourists. The park is also known to hold arts and culture events like a yearly flower show and art exhibits from local artists. The park has maintained its green space over the years due to the partnership between Fairmount Park and Friends of Rittenhouse Square. They have preserved most of its original design from French-born architect, Paul Phillipe Cret since he designed it in1913. Today, Rittenhouse Square is one of the more predominant parks within the heart of center city Philadelphia and it even has it’s own Twitter account.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Facebook Mapping Project

The Facebook Map

When thinking about the mapping project, I attempted to create a map around the waterways within Philadelphia. However, I was having trouble in regards to how exactly to map out the Istanbul student's direction. I then looked to my communications major. Social media has had a huge impact within my major. There are classes dedicated solely on the innovative technological impact social media has had on communications within our society. I have decided to base my map around the social media outlet: Facebook.

Necessary Items:
The only way this map would work is if one or more students could check Facebook on a smart phone. Each student would need to create an account or use a previous account and follow all students listed within each class.

Step 1: Each student from Philadelphia would check into their specific locations on Facebook. For instance, I would check into Rittenhouse Square on my Facebook account as listed below. 

Step 2: In order to get to the next location, I would need to tag the next classmate's name within the status. When they click on the student's name, they will see where the next location will be through the status update.

Along with these status updates, pictures will be attached of a Google Map image of the destination. However, the sidewalks within these images will be deleted in order for the student to get lost within the area. For instance, I've added an image of Lemon Hill Mansion, but have erased the walkways and streets within that map image. I have only left the Schuylkill river and an outline of the where the green edge begins along Pennsylvania Avenue. The student will need to figure out the location of Lemon Hill Mansion by the elements that surround the node. The virtual image will also allow the student to experience a psychogeographic walk through the green public space. Even though they can access a smart phone GPS in order to get to the next direction, I am hoping by including these images it will allow the follower to look at the space in a broader way. Within this map, we would be providing destinations for their journey but not the route. The route would be determined by the student. They can use whatever technological device they would prefer, but it will be their own route. 

I apologize for the poor painting features that were applied to this image!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Drexel Park

Drexel Park located between 32nd Street and Powelton Avenue

Overview of Drexel Park: 

Drexel Park's construction began in the Fall of 2007 and was finished by the Summer of 2008. It's prior use was a former consolidated laundry industrial site. The $500,000 project included walking paths, trees, benches, and lighting posts. The 2.5 acres is used in a variety of ways by the public. People can come to walk their dogs, ride their bikes on the paths, play recreational sports, or sit and read book. The park is also used by both Drexel students and Powelton residents. It is Powelton's largest public open space. 

Image from Powelton Village Master Plan 2011 (Pg. 47)

The Rocky Road of Drexel Park: 

The expansion of Drexel into the neighborhood of Powelton village was always a rocky journey. In 1995, Drexel decided to plan a temporary student housing facility on the empty lot. When the Powelton Village Civic Association (PCVA) heard about the facility, they were not happy. They had an agreement with Drexel that the vacant lot would always become a park. The president of the PCVA at that time decided to join forces with another neighborhood association called Summer-Winter neighbors and called themselves "Consolidated Neighbors." Because of the PCVA president's connection with Jannie Blackwell, a democratic politician on the City Council, the new coalition was able to arrange a few meetings with President Papadakis to discuss the new plans about the student housing. During this meeting, members from the neighborhood were able to discuss their concerns about the student housing with lively remarks. Eventually, Papadakis folded on the plans for the student housing due to the neighborhood's opposition. Under the new president for PCVA, Drexel Park was built. 

Image taken from Google Maps
What Powelton Village wants from Drexel Park:

Now that the Powelton neighborhood has gotten it's public open space, they came up with a strategic plan for their neighborhood. From the Powelton Village Direction: 2011 Neighborhood Plan, they would like to add more to the 32nd and Powelton Avenue area around Drexel Park. Because the Powelton neighborhood is made up of 76% students living within the area, they have encountered a few problems with the appearance of the neighborhood. Problems such as loud partying, trash debris on the sidewalk, public urination, etc. They have tried to pass legislature in regards to the partying and also had some re-zoning done. However, they have decided to incorporate the student life within their plan. They would like to turn it into a retail environment with shops along Powelton between 32nd and 32st streets. They want to add venues such as a couple of restaurants with outdoor seating in order to incorporate the park surrounding. They also want use the skyline view to its advantage by incorporating outdoor seating. 

They also would like to restore the tree life within that area of Powelton village. They mention that part of Powelton's character is it's "village in the city" look, which comes from the multiple large trees surrounding the area. They would like to revitalize that image with more trees and green investment, which is portrayed in the image below.
Image taken from Powelton Village Direction: 2011Neighborhood Plan

Layers of Spatial Rhythms:
I took two 6 second walks through Drexel Park. Each walk contains different views through the park. I wanted to see if I could capture the character of Drexel park along with Powelton Village's within these videos. PCVA's plan goes in depth to what the neighborhood was and what it should be in relationship to the coalition with Drexel University and it's students.


View 1:

Within this video, I wanted to focus on the ground textures. What makes up Drexel park? The cut videos contain a variety of spots within Drexel Park. 

View 2:

Within this video, I focus on the normal eye level in order to see the whole picture of the park when standing straight up. Through this view, you are able to get a sense of internal uses for the park. For instance, a woman throwing a ball to a dog.

View 3:


The third view incorporates what's outside of Drexel park. The viewer is able to see the city skylines along with the houses that surround the park.

Images of Drexel Park from my lense: