PHA to demolish one of its tallest high-rises
    Philadelphia - Another Philadelphia Housing Authority high-rise apartment building is tumbling down. 

    PHA Executive Director Carl Greene has announced that the one of the tallest buildings in the PHA inventory, Mantua Hall in West Philadelphia, will be imploded in early 2008. 

    "Over the past decade, we have been replacing this style of vertical public housing with modern, safe, attractive low-rise communities," said Greene. "Once again, we are preparing to undo a mistake of the past and build housing that will lift families into the future." 

    Mantua Hall, standing 18 stories, was completed in 1960, an era when concentrating a high number of very poor families into a high-rise building was the model for public housing. The size and design of the apartments do not meet modern standards, with very small bedrooms and inadequate room for furnishings. The electrical, heating, and plumbing systems are antiquated. PHA estimates the cost of upgrading these systems and renovating these apartments would be prohibitively expensive. 

    In addition, PHA's experience has shown that this model of low-income housing produced negative results, both on the families who lived there and on the near-by community. 
    
    By contrast, at each site that PHA has rebuilt, crime and other anti-social behavior have plummeted, and homeowners in the surrounding neighborhood have benefited by seeing the value of their homes increase much faster than the citywide pace. 


    PHA will move residents of Mantua Hall to alternative public housing locations, with all residents moving out by the end of November. 

    "PHA has moved thousands of residents in preparation for similar demolitions over the past ten years. We pay for the move, we offer residents a selection of other PHA housing, and we make sure that the transition to the new location is smooth," Greene said. 

    PHA plans to build approximately 100 low-rise walk-up style apartments on the site, with construction beginning in the end of 2008. Final designs are still being completed, but most of the townhouse structures will be three stories, with the units built around a secure central parking lot. All homes will have clear views of the parking area and open green space.
Mantua Hall in West Philadelphia will be imploded in early 2008. 

Mantua Hall was completed in 1960, an era when concentrating a high number of very poor families into a high-rise building was the model for public housing.
A current view of the same living room area shown in the previous photo.

Mantua Hall from the 18th floor in 1960, when it was built.