Joseph G. Brin, Architect & Writer

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Roofmeadow Fields Forever

In Environment & Infrastructure on February 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Charlie Miller, P.E., has been fomenting a quiet, green roof revolution in this country for years. So quiet that you may not have heard of it, or him.

It’s a steep climb up narrow, carpeted stairs to the modest Roofmeadow office on historic, cobble-stoned Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia–a great metaphor for what Charlie Miller, P.E., internationally regarded green roof pioneer has faced, professionally, the last 15 years in this country…

Photo: Joseph G. Brin © 2012


Timeless Landshaper: Richard A. Glaser

In Designer Profile, Environment & Infrastructure on February 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Richard A. Glaser is an urban planner and landscape architect. He’s worked on everything from a landscaped backyard swimming pool to entire cities in the Middle East. He worked for large Philadelphia offices like Lou Kahn’s and for Marcel Breuer (planning Sadat City in Egypt). He worked in partnerships and as a sole practitioner.

Pier To Pier Networking

In Environment & Infrastructure on February 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm


Photo: DRWC (Field Operations)

From the air, a series of flat, gray, industrial looking waterfront piers jut out into the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “MetroZepp,” our aerial historic tour blimp, hovers as it suddenly detects the distinct emergence of Design. We crowd to a small window as our captain promises to give us a closer look.

B. Free Philadelphia

In Urban Space on February 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm



2004. News spread in Philadelphia on February 17, 4:15PM, that Faheem Thomas-Childs, ten years old, was dead.  He was caught in a hail of nearly 100 bullets, crossfire between rival gangs that occurred as children streamed into school to start a new day. Faheem Thomas-Childs held on but the wounds were too devastating and his bright light flickered out.

In his own neighborhood, Faheem Thomas-Childs was known as “A real peacemaker.”


Applied Intelligence

In Environment & Infrastructure on February 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Pier 53 on the Delaware River, in Philadelphia, was the point of entry for immigrants, primarily from Eastern and Southern Europe, from the 1870’s through the early 1900’s. Demolished in 1915, it took nearly 100 years before some smart people discovered that the remaining pile of rocks, trash and rotting lumber held promise as a foothold for the city’s return to ecological health and a reborn, sustainable waterfront.

Local Hero

In Historic Preservation on February 6, 2012 at 4:02 am

David O’Donnell is a local, historic preservationist hero in my book. He was head of a fledgling neighborhood preservation group I joined years ago. It seemed he was running six different committees at the time, a kind of start-up, serial entrepreneur of preservation activism…

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Painter, 1859-1937

In Artist Profile on February 6, 2012 at 3:58 am

“We never speak of Tanner in terms of racial difference…The United States is very different from the French way of considering Tanner,” says Sylvie Patry, “conservateur en chef” of painting at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France. She’s in Philadelphia for the opening of “Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA-Jan. 28-April 15, 2012)…