New Temple building approved for Dirt Lot site

Free non-street parking at Temple will likely become a thing of the past when construction of a new academic building proposed at a June 17 Philadelphia City Planning Commission meeting begins.

The new building — which will be four- to seven-stories high and feature classrooms, an auditorium and science labs — will be built on the northeast corner of 11th Street and Montgomery Avenue, where the Dirt Lot currently lies.

The Dirt Lot, which received a short-lived makeover over last winter break [“Dirt Lot gets temporary repairs,” Kathryn. A. Lopez, Jan. 22, 2008], is vacant. Students often park their cars there because Temple does not consider it an official parking lot.

“We’re still in the early stages,” Vice President of Operations William Bergman said. “We’re looking at the conceptual idea [now]. We still need to talk to the provost and deans to find out what they’re thinking.”

Bergman said at this point, it will take at least 18 months to break ground for the new building, as Temple still needs to hire an architect. It will likely take about one year to design.

City planner Richard Redding presented the building proposition to the PCPC, which awarded conditional approval and recommended that Temple officials come up with a more urban plan that relates better to city streets and sidewalks.

Previously, the building design featured new open space in front of the building and a parking lot in the rear. The PCPC said these features prevent the building from being as dense and urban as possible.

According to a fact sheet compiled by the PCPC, the cost of the development would be roughly $74 million. In February 2007, the PCPC approved 66 acquisitions on the property by the university, giving Temple rights to build there.

A meeting for further negotiations between PCPC staff and Temple officials is set for July 7, 2008.

Morgan Zalot can be reached at


  1. Ahhh, the dirt lot. Free parking at the cost of potential body damage to your car or being trapped into a “spot” by other parking patrons. It had a good run…

  2. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. The dirt lot was such a hidden jewel. You had to avoid the unavoidable potholes and get a spot by the curb to guarantee not getting blocked in but it was all worth it. I love the dirt lot

  3. pssh, dirt lot… good riddance, what a waste of space for all my years there. i know parking is bad around there but id rather walk through the hood than park in that disaster area.

    science labs?? barton/beury to go next? those labs are pushing on the edge of 1960’s technology.

  4. Why would you build for the sciences or any other academic building when there is clearly not enough housing for the students that are enroled here. TU insists on increasing the enrolement year after year and yet they are not doing anything for the new students. I have been here since fall ’04 and was told along with the rest of my class that we where the largest that TU has ever enroled. Now every new class is told the same thing. With urban campuses being the big draw now and housing at a crunch, Temple has a real opportunity to make an improvement on something that is seriously lacking here. Make it HOUSING not science labs. You just redid the labes in barton/beury and spent millions doing it.

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