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November 25, 1997

Volume 44, Number 14

To Make a Village

Phase Two of the 40th Street renewal project is now done--the part that runs south from Walnut to Locust. The part that now has a name,
Hamilton Village Shops.

When the block-long, two-story shopping complex was painted a soft cream color in Phase One, its slightly rounded arches took on a southwestern look, and the designers went with that theme for Phase Two, adding Spanish flower baskets to each column to give the feel of a village.

Awnings and banners add to the look: they replace boxy signage that could best be read from across the street looking head-on at the shop, but not easily while strolling. Now Smoke's and My Favorite Muffin, or the Penn Police Mini-Station, can be identified easily from more than one angle.

Goose-neck lighting was added above the awnings to illuminate signs during the evening, complementing the new street lights that were has also been added during Phase One.


But it's around the corner on Locust that art joined planning to complete the picture of a village street. Turning the corner at the Uni-Mart and and heading toward the Penn Dental Center, a pedestrian who used to pass a grim blank wall now finds a series of related murals in soft pastel colors, showing life in University City as painter Eoin Kinnarney, sees it: the fruitseller here, the sidewalk cafe there, the biker passing by and, everywhere, Man's Best Friend.