PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fifty years of history came down in about ten seconds Saturday morning as a demolition crews imploded two apartment buildings in North Philadelphia.
The Norman Blumberg Apartments were erected in the 1960’s and have been home to thousands of people over the years — but it took only seconds to reduce the 18-story buildings to rubble.
Kelvin Jeremiah, President & CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, says it’s all part of the plan to revitalize the neighborhood with mixed use housing, about 1,200 units, as well as commercial space.
“Folks who live in the community, about 70 percent of them, do not own the properties that they’re in,” he says. “That will change. Folks have to have a stake in the community if they’re going to really care in a meaningful way about its vitality.”
One of the three Blumberg buildings were remain standing and undergo renovations to serve as housing for seniors.
The plan also includes the revitalization of the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor. The first phase of this historic redevelopment of the neighborhood started last August as construction began on 57-new rental units.