Tag Archives: design

Pearl may be no longer.. but Art remains.

Back in 2006, this used to be one of the only massive, relatively inexpensive places to buy art supplies in Center City. Of course you had your smaller stores including the school book store and Utrecht but these didn’t compare to the three floors packed with art supplies at Pearl. Well a couple years later, Pearl closed their doors for good while Utrecht expanded and Blick made their way to Center City.

The old Pearl building that sits at 4th and South in the Queen Village neighborhood, has remained unoccupied since then. Years of discussion and talk of what this could be and finally some creative ideas have surfaced. The plan is  for this space to be converted into art studios. Including retail space, ground floor gallery and a roof top entertainment area. Studios would be rented monthly at $250 and offered a space for gallery showings.

pearl(Photo Source: google.com)

Plans are to open this Summer 2014. Although a new designed facade and interiors will not be present until 2015. Considering the rise of art programs, schools and encouraged creative thinking, this was a smart move. We’re happy to see a creative, community learning space come to South Street.

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A Proposed Modern Look for Society Hill’s Historical District

Mother Bethel seems to be the talk around town lately. In Society Hill‘s historical district of Philadelphia, one can walk on cobble stone streets while admiring the redbrick row homes that house years of history for Philadelphia. Historic Mother Bethel AME Church which sits at 6th and Lombard street may soon have neighbors.

An apartment building is being proposed to occupy the parking lot space at 6th and Addison. Although this six unit, four story apartment building would bring in new residents, it also would be constructed under modern design. The exterior of gray brick and stucco with large, overhanging bay windows would be quite the black sheep in this redbrick historical area. Neighbors and Society Hill Civic Association’s Zoning and Historical Preservation Committee members have voiced concerns for this project. Many feel that the point of having a historical district is to have the community’s support for respecting the historical landmarks and structures in the community.

092513_church_600(Image Source: philly.com)

To top off the design, the new building’s air conditioning compressors would be facing into the stained glass windows of Mother Bethel. Rev. Mark Tyler held a prayer vigil recently asking that the commission follow the right path and preserve historical integrity. Hoping the prayer would lead to better judgement. These land owners must not be from Philadelphia.. or maybe its a lack of history appreciation. All we know is that Mother Bethel deserves some sunlight through their stained glass windows, not a rumbling AC shadow.

mother-bethel-church-600(Image Source: visitphilly.com)

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Home Tours in Passyunk Square

Passyunk Square Civic Association is holding their annual home tour this October. If you live in the Passyunk Area (between Broad and 6th, Washington and Tasker) you can participate in their house tour. Do you just love your humble abode? Would you like to show off your interior design skills? On Saturday October 12th you can open your doors to neighbors and community members to inspire and engage them on design and architectural ideas. Meet your neighbors and socialize as they ‘ooo and aww’ over your eye for design. This event will be from 12-4pm. Participants must buy a ticket. If you would like to submit your home for a open house tour, send a brief description of your home and a couple photographs to hometour@passyunk.org. Deadline for submission is September 6th. What a fun way to meet and greet while you gain inspiration!

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Columbus Square Park Now.. and Three Years from Now.

Back in March, Passyunk Square Civic Association received a grant for design services towards Columbus Square Park (13th and Reed). The design services will be a pro-bono project from Community Design Collaborative who’s mission is ‘Strengthening Neighbors Through Design’. This non-profit has worked on several Philadelphia based projects including McCall Elementary School, SOAKITUP! and several more. At that time plans were established to renovate the park. Although the big question remained, would the playing field be part of this new plan?

Columbus Square Park Advisory Council and the Department of Parks and Rec. have met yet once again. After several discussions with designers, don’t expect the final plan anytime soon. One thing has been decided on, the playing field will stay. Woohoo! Talks of making the field smaller were mentioned, but again these plans have a long road ahead.

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(Looking through the entrance gates at 13th and Wharton)

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(Seating area outside of fenced in playing field. Some of these benches have been painted over recently.)

Some improvements are in need for Columbus Square Park because right now this park seems to be used and abused. Included in some of the initial plans are to enlarge the dog-park area and resurface with dog friendly synthetic grass. Added seating around the park as well as refurbishing the play-ground surface area eliminating the cracked tiles and making this safe for children. A water feature as well as shade veils have also been mentioned in this renovation. While these plans are still being smoothed out, the Community Design Collaborative hopes to have them complete by October.

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(…others need some lovin’)

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(Inside the playground area you can see many of these tiles lifting and splitting.)


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(Some have even caved in…)

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(Fenced in dog park area looking South. Not a very ‘paw friendly’ surface.)

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(‘The Roundhouse’, pretty run down if you ask us. Talks of a concession stand or arts center have been heard. Of course all contingent on the cost.)

Neighbors in this Passyunk Square community voiced and emailed their enforcement for these renovations. All of which felt that improving this park will keep kids out of trouble and create a better neighborhood community. Once these design plans are complete the fundraising begins which is estimated to take about one year.

So, Columbus Square Park, we look forward to seeing your new and improved green in about 3 years.

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