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Work on new police headquarters begins at 46th and Market

Posted on 21 October 2014

provident_insurance_building

Work on the new police headquarters at 46th and Market has officially begun, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place on Monday.

The 87-year-old Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building, will undergo renovation and will host the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters, which will move from their current Center City location at 8th and Race. The building will also be home to the medical examiner’s office, morgue and the Department of Health public laboratories.

“[It] will be known as the Philadelphia Public Safety Services campus,” mayor Michael Nutter said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The building renovation will cost about $250 million. Two bills were introduced earlier this year by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell that allowed the city to borrow this sum. The building is expected to open in 2018.

The Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building was included in the endangered properties list by the Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia in 2010. After Provident left the building in 1983 it was occupied by various non-profits for many years, but has been vacant for the past six years.

34 Comments For This Post

  1. Strongforu Says:

    Wow! This is great news for all of West Philadelphia. Now, we need to make sure that Philadelphians get the lions share of the union construction jobs that this 4-year project entails.

  2. Ditch MD Says:

    Great news!,
    Can’t wait to see more cops around!

  3. 46st Says:

    They take educational programs out to make a police station? What a waste of money lol that the city claims they don’t have, anything to bring a black community down, the government will doing anything in their power to keep blacks down in this country smh

  4. SMH Says:

    The non-profits in that building barely used 10% of that building. They couldn’t pay for basic maintenance of the structure and the grand old building was in threat of serious collapse. They have all relocated to more modern digs in other multi-service buildings.

    I think our police commissioner would be a tad surprised to hear he is not part of the city’s black community, or that a bunch of good paying city jobs moving across town to our neighborhood is bad for the neighborhood.

  5. 46st Says:

    I’m pretty sure if these non profit organizations, had the same amount of funding as the government does then the building wouldn’t look the way it did. let’s be honest you know and I know, the mayor nor the commissioner are for black people in this city, if you think different you need to open your eyes much wider

  6. Toons Says:

    I am confused as to how this is now a race issue. My understanding was that the majority of the funding for this project was obtained through federal stimulus money. Seems like a great project that will benefit the neighborhood and help preserve a unique and valuable building with good access to public transit. I could not be happier to see this move ahead.

  7. Corey Says:

    Toon,

    I see your point but also that of 46st. A monument to police going up virtually next door to the new monument of juvenile incarceration, in an all black area with poverty and failing schools, can leave people reasonably asking if there is an intended message.

  8. anon Says:

    As the parent of a mixed-race child, I am quite glad the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (Black Israelites), that used to have its headquarters in this building, did not get the same amount of funding as the government.

  9. SMH Says:

    Actually, a big part of the move and renovation is that it will consolidate a whole lot of related city services. Not only will it be the new police HQ next to the the Youth Study Center, but the morgue and the Health Department Labs will all be under the same roof as the police. Also right next to Kirkbride, with mental health and drug treatment facilities.

    So which is worse for a low-income area? A huge, dilapidated historic building slowly collapsing or whole bunch of well-paying city jobs moving across town to consolidate onto a single campus? Honestly, if we want cops and city workers to live in the neighborhoods they serve, to be a more integrated part of the community, it seems weird to complain about them sinking a bunch of money to move their jobs into our neighborhood.

    At the very least, I’m betting all those workers and cops will improve the lunch options, never mind safety, near the 46th St. El stop.

  10. 46st Says:

    If that’s the case, why not fund the building for something positive for the community, (education, After-school programs for children, programs to build up the community for the people within the area) which they had before , I don’t think moving police headquarters from downtown into an urban neighborhood is a wise decision. That’s not something I would like my kids seeing walking to school and a Morgue come on are you serious? It’s a bigger picture then you think it is, why are they moving these facilities from downtown to a black area? your blind if you don’t see what’s going on

  11. anon Says:

    Where will they get the money for any of that? It’s 325,000 square foot complex! What a joke – 325,000 square feet of after-school programs and rec centers when we can barely keep up with the programs that we have!

    The Lee Cultural Center, Mill Creek, and West Mill Creek centers are right there! Fight to fund what we already have.

  12. nobody Says:

    46st, I hear what you’re saying, and understand the following isn’t coming from a hipster/gentrifier type…

    This will bring people from all over the city into the part of West Philly most of them don’t venture into. It will be THE place the news crews all film, the journalists all flock to, etc when there’s a crime story or a big case going on. This will bring foot traffic to businesses that would not be possible otherwise, as well as more safety and focus to the surrounding neighborhood, to name a few things. If there are streets where there isn’t adequate lighting or some other safety issue that would embarrass the police, they will be called out on what’s going on in “their neighborhood”. This isn’t just a police station we’re talking about. It’s the HQ and the place where all of the police related services minus SVU will be on one campus.

    You’re looking at this completely the wrong way. Your community can finally get some attention from the city government and the city in general, and the police are right there to bring up your issues, such as inadequate street lighting or some other safety issue. West Philly north and west of University City can finally get some attention and stop being overlooked. Hopefully something can do the same for Southwest someday.

  13. SMH Says:

    I assumed they are moving it because it was the biggest piece of underused, city owned land they could put together for the project.

    Morgue workers make $40k a year. Police officers start at that and go up to $60k. I’d rather they have a chance to spend some of that money at local businesses than somewhere else.

  14. red dog Says:

    my bet is that within 10 years the cops will be singing for a move back downtown, “we need to be in a central location to serve the needs of all the City” or some such crap. And some developer will end up making piles of money.
    I would have liked to see the City use the renovations of this huge building as an ongoing job training center. Construction hasn’t gone out of fashion and it hard to find people with skills anymore.

  15. 47th St Says:

    I hate whats happening to my neighborhood. White people move in, then move the police here to take young black men off the streets cos white people hate looking at them. If you can’t see whats going on you are truly blind. What we need is the same money they want to spend on this to truly uplift the black community so we can live in our own downtown. But then yall don’t want that, no.

  16. 47th St Says:

    What I just want to say is this: with all these white people moving into the neighborhood, I know that the color of crime is getting more white around here. But as they would have you believe, it is only young black men responsible. Come on people, you are blind if you can’t see the blackwashing of crime that is going on in this neighborhood. I will not be intimidated by this police station.

  17. notme Says:

    Hopefully, this will help the area around 46th st station to be a little less sketchy at night!

  18. Michael Says:

    Wow 47th Street. Your comments are breathtaking. You really hate white people moving into your neighborhood don’t you?

  19. WPBAR Says:

    47TH ST.DOSEN”T SEEM TO ME AS IF HE HATES WHITE PEOPLE, IT ACTUALLY SOUNDS THE OPPOSITE . I GET WHERE HE”S COMING FROM AS FAR AS THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGING AND THESE CHANGES ONLY SEEM TO OCCUR WHEN WHITES MOVE IN.HOWEVER THIS IS THE EXPANSION OF CENTER CITY(GENTRIFICATION). CHANGE IS NEEDED, THE CITY IS POOR AND IT CAN”T STAY THIS WAY IN THRIVE. I WELCOME CHANGE IF IT MEANS CLEANING UP MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND MAKING IT MORE SAFE. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE BUILDING AT 46TH AND MARKET AS FAR BACK AS WHEN I WAS A CHILD( THEY DON’T MAKE THEM LIKE THAT ANYMORE)AND CAN”T WAIT TO SEE IT BROUGHT BACK TO IT”S GLORY DAYS. POLICE HEADQUARTERS FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE P.A.B.(POLICE ADMINISTRATION BUILD) IS NOT A POLICE STATION IT IS HOME TO THE TOP BRASS OF THE CITY (POLICE COMMISIONER , DUTY COMMISIONERS)

  20. White People Says:

    yes, 47th St, we all moved here because we hate seeing black people. it’s one of the reasons we fled Narberth…

  21. nobody Says:

    47th St I understand what you’re saying about white people moving in and trying to brush you aside and “whitewash” everything they don’t like or are uncomfortable with seeing. We all know how they like to use the cops and other authority groups to get their way.

    You’re looking at this the complete wrong way though. Maybe you don’t care about your community getting attention but generations before you (white, black, and other) did. That is what they wanted, a fair shake and to not be ignored by the powers that be. Now you have a chance to get that attention and you don’t want it? You don’t want the police right there to be able to voice your concerns with them? I get the idea of not wanting improvement because of fears it could lead to gentrification but that is a very narrow way to view this when there’s a much larger picture to it. First, this is a large project and if the members of the community force the city to employ them in large numbers to accomplish it, that’s a major opportunity that would not otherwise exist. Second, West Philly north and west of University City is largely working and middle class and west of Mill Creek especially is intact, albeit struggling communities. Most of the streets are fairly intact, and the “bones” are great. Having almost every arm of law enforcement right on your doorstep can allow your community to take itself back from the criminals little by little and to have revitalization without gentrification. No other section of the city can accomplish that. Don’t let your feelings towards hipsters and gentrification allow you to not take advantage of the kind of opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.

  22. 46st Says:

    How can this possibly be a positive for the area? ”A morgue, the police commissioner”? You can’t be serious lol. My question is, why move it from center city to an urban neighborhood? People are saying it will bring more venue to the area? How? The area is changing for the worst not the good, it’s not to benefit black people at all, the government will do anything and everything to bring black people down, even our own people. This isn’t a good idea and it’s nothing anybody can say to change that, I’m not blind to the fact to what’s going on in my community. Rather the headquarters is there or not crime is going to happened that’s reality of it, Look up some of the areas that have police district if one doesn’t believe me

  23. SMH Says:

    First off “from center city to an urban neighborhood” makes no sense. Center City, specifically Chinatown, is an urban neighborhood. Certainly as “urban” as 46th St. and Market.

    Why is having a bunch of city workers bringing their jobs and at least a few of their dollars into our neighborhood a bad thing for black people, white people, green people? Cops lunch dollars spend just like non-cops lunch dollars.

    Who doesn’t think that less muggings near the 46th St. El stop would be a good thing?

  24. 46st Says:

    ”SMH” Everything black people have, other cultures always find a way to intervene, this a black neighborhood keep that way, ”Whites” Already destroy, or stole everything we ever had. Also muggings happened anywhere, in today’s society it doesn’t matter if there’s police present or not, what world do you live in? lol. Also it bought union jobs to the site, but all I’ve seen working were who? Mainly white’s as usual, so once again how is this benefiting blacks in the area?

  25. brendancalling Says:

    “this a black neighborhood keep that way”.

    No, it’s not actually. It’s a mixed neighborhood and has been for quite some time. In 2010, black people made up 76% of West Philly, followed by whites (17%). The Latino and Indian/Pakistani population has been growing steadily as well.

    Also, as pointed out in another thread, neighborhoods change. West Philadelphia, before white flight in the 1960s/1970s, was predominantly a white neighborhood.

    Really, I find this mentality -“keep to your own kind”- embarrassing and frustrating. You sound like George Wallace.

  26. Dan S Says:

    Brendancalling, you can’t reason with a racist person, and clearly 46st has their mind made up. They actually go around counting the number of black and white workers at the future HQ site? Are you kidding me?

    If cleaner, safer streets and a growing local economy are bad, then let 46st sit in their bitter, hate-filled world as West Philly blossoms around them. I live on a street that has always been “salt and pepper” and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    And for the life of me I can’t figure out why 46st hates the idea of a morgue so much? Do they think it has large picture windows or that they perform outdoor autopsies when the weather is nice?

  27. Corey Says:

    There might actually be a point regarding the city and unions for the construction and renovation. I doubt that a help wanted sign will be posted on the outside of the building and that the unemployed in the immediate area will benefit initially. I suppose that the people actually doing the renovations will eat and buy things, as will the people eventually working there, so there is good in that.

  28. WPBAR Says:

    Dan S., I was thinking the same exact thing,lol.

  29. Mark Mandel Says:

    WPBAR, PLEASE DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS. IT’S HARD TO READ. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME, COMPARE THIS PARAGRAPH WITH THE NEXT.

    Wpbar, please don’t write in all caps. It’s hard to read. If you don’t believe me, compare this paragraph with the first.

  30. WPBAR Says:

    Mark Mandel, I caught that, read right above your comment. Thanks

  31. Isam Fadul Says:

    Definitely West Philly Will Benefit From Such Move.

  32. red dog Says:

    Isam, Any other great insights you have for us? Maybe tell us what you think these benefits will be.

  33. Kenneth Says:

    Hey 47th St I am African American and HATE ignorant black and white folks!

    If you do not like the area move to Camden or crawl back under the rock you came from.

    Better yet why not talk to the misguided, ignorant, pant saggin, wannabe gangsta young boys oops young buls and teach them to be respectful and be real men that will help the area too and help the race

  34. Kenneth Says:

    I love the diversity here in West Philly!






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