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Decaying North Philadelphia Hotel May Become a Super-Sized School

(Vintage photo of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, where Ridge Avenue crosses North Broad Street.  US National Park Service photo)

(Vintage photo of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, where Ridge Avenue crosses North Broad Street. US National Park Service photo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There might be new life ahead for the long-shuttered Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad Street and and Fairmount Avenue, in North Philadelphia.

Developer Eric Blumenfeld is looking at the Divine Lorraine as a shared-campus site for four Philadelphia high schools, according to the Daily News.   Masterman, Ben Franklin, the Franklin Learning Center, and Parkway Center City would share a gymnasium and cafeteria on site.

Masterman principal Marjorie Neff likes the idea — she’s got 1,200 kids in a building designed for 800.  But she understands that it’s only a concept right now.

“This is a conversation at this point. I’m not even sure it can happen,” she said today.  “But I’m really committed to exploring any reasonable possibility for rightsizing Masterman.”

Blumenfeld wouldn’t say whether he plans to buy the hotel, but he told the Daily News he plans to buy the four acres behind it for the school.