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Speaking Out

Housing Fair Sponsor

I thought that I would attend this year’s Housing Fair on May 2, but quickly changed my mind when I saw the name of the sponsor, Naval Square by Toll Brothers. Naval Square is the National Historic Landmark site (24th St. and Bainbridge/Grays Ferry Ave.) where Toll Brothers, after numerous instances of mismanagement and years of foot-dragging, were charged with “demolition by neglect” by the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections. The Philadelphia Inquirer published numerous articles about this beginning in 1987 (easily accessible through the Newsbank database on the Penn Library’s Website; see especially February 2003). The Naval Square development is now well on its way to completion, but that fact does not erase its unfortunate history. In fact, I would like to suggest that its history calls the appropriateness of Naval Square, as the sponsor of Penn’s Housing Fair, into question.

—Ellen Slack,
Lippincott Library Support Staff

Response

Thank you for bringing your concerns regarding Toll Brothers’ sponsorship of this year’s Housing Fair to our attention. We certainly understand how your interests in history and preservation have brought you to your current opinion on the Toll Brothers’ Naval Square project. We respect your views and regret if any offense was caused.

When selecting partners for the University, we balance many needs and attempt to make the best decision for our stakeholders. In the case of Toll Brothers, we felt the company was a fitting partner for this year’s Housing Fair. This event aims to bring key resources to the Penn community to enable and promote home ownership. As many members of our community are interested in living in the surrounding area, the Naval Square project will be of particular interest.

Toll Brothers has been a Penn partner for some time, with very positive results. However, please know that your concerns are important to us, as community impact is one of the factors the University considers when evaluating partners. If you have other questions or concerns about the Housing Fair or other Office of Community Housing programs, we welcome you to contact our office directly at (215) 898-7422.

—Stefany Jones, Director,
Office of Community Housing

 

Speaking Out welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University issues will be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday’s issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention to submit is appreciated. —Eds.

 



 
  Almanac, Vol. 53, No. 1, July 11, 2006

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:

Tuesday,
July 11, 2006
Volume 53 Number 1

 

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