Grand Award - Martin Luther King Plaza

Making way for the renewal effort first required the demolition of the Martin Luther King Plaza Towers, a 594-unit public housing project on six acres in the Hawthorne neighborhood. A virtual icon of urban blight, the towers had become symbolic of being poor in Philadelphia. By the time a decision was made to raze the dilapidated structures, more than 200 units were already uninhabitable due to disrepair. Restoring vitality to the neighborhood subsequently hinged on two pivotal elements: an urban square invoking the principles that drove William Penn's original design for the city, and infill housing that was consistent with the native dwelling type, historic row homes.

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