Weather-wise, we stay in the 50s today with a chance of rain possible in the afternoon.
Last week, our architecture critic, Inga Saffron, toured the old Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St., now the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department. She ... has some thoughts. 🔒
Also, we unveil the winner of The Inquirer’s Italian Hoagie Bracket.
If you see this 🔒 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.
As a former Daily News staffer, I spent many years working out of the basement of the old Inquirer building and vividly recall that while the building teemed with history, it was certainly one in desperate need of restoration.
But reading what our columnist Inga Saffron had to say about a $280 million renovation to become the new headquarters for the Philadelphia Police Department, it sounds as if my colleagues and I didn’t have much to complain about.
Though we were in the basement, I remember large bay windows bringing in tons of light on the Callowhill Street-facing side. This is what Inga said about natural light now:
🤷🏻♀️ “There were so few views of the outside world that journalists began to lose track of their location. Were they on the Broad, Callowhill, or 15th Street side of the building, several wanted to know. … The walls are painted a cerulean blue as if to suggest a sky that no one will see.”
I can vividly recall The Inquirer, then located on the second floor complete with an upper mezzanine, had so much headspace it felt like a never-ending ceiling.
Here’s what Inga said about the former newsroom:
🤷🏻♀️ “...That area was converted [into] one of the most inspiring newsrooms in America, a bi-level cathedral of light with 40-foot ceilings. Yet, somehow, the city and its design consultant, USA Architects, have managed to turn the sun-drenched interior into a warren of windowless, low-ceilinged offices.”
So why would a design that was supposed to modernize the force effectively make it one that creates a bunker walling off the police from the city? It’s the question Inga asks in her latest column. 🔒
Additionally, our photographer Tom Gralish offers this visual tour so you can take a peek inside.
What you should know today
Prosecutors in the bribery trial of City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson intimated they could rest their case by the end of the week.
The Philly school board could be adding more than one new member to its ranks. 🔒
A Northeast Philly ward leader has dropped out of a special election for state Senate only to be replaced by his brother.
Dawn Staley’s memorable season leading South Carolina to an NCAA women’s national title transcends basketball, writes our columnist David Murphy. 🔒
Need another sign of spring in Philly? John’s Water Ice in Queen Village has opened for the season.
Legendary filmmaker Ken Burns wrote this op-ed about his new documentary examining the life and “complicated” legacy of Ben Franklin.
Meet the doctors treating a loss of smell from COVID-19 with plasma-soaked sponges.
Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.
According to over 7,500 of you, the best Italian hoagie resides in South Philly.
Two weeks ago, our digital and interactive teams enlisted the help of food critic Craig LaBan to deliver a preliminary list of 16 finalists for The Inquirer Italian Hoagie Bracket challenge.
Over the course of those two weeks, we had some pretty interesting debates from some well-known Philadelphians on the subject, as well as some of these sandwich spots lobbying for their own hoagies.
In fact, there’s a story dropping later this week on an instance of voter fraud that our data and digital teams sniffed out.
Dying to see which restaurant took the crown? See for yourself. One hoagie expert says it’s the bread that makes this particular sandwich.
🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠
As officials continue to debate whether ships and small boats should share the Delaware River, environmental groups are pushing to limit pollution. Today’s question: Which one of these organizations will ultimately make the decision on how ships and boats share a 27-mile stretch of the waterway? Take a guess and find the answer here.
a. Delaware River Waterfront Commission.
b. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
c. Delaware River Basin Commission.
d. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
What we’re …
📚 Suggesting: That there’s little reason Philly libraries can’t operate on weekend hours, too.
🤔 Wondering: What they’re calling the area nestled between Fishtown, Kensington, and Port Richmond these days?
🤮 Realizing: That there are very few places in the world today where one can actually get some “fresh air.”
🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩
This neighborhood is a nice view.
Think you know? Send your guess our way at email@example.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Maria Fritzinger of Philadelphia, who correctly guessed FRANKLIN SQUARE as Monday’s answer.
Photo of the day
Thanks for starting today with The Inquirer. I’ll catch you tomorrow. 👋🏾