Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Loft for Callowhill Rivals Expectations

For the past decade one couldn't traverse the Vine Street Expressway without noticing the graffiti covered building at 12th and Wood. Kid Agua's tag had almost become synonymous with Philadelphia when a developer finally saw a silver lining in Callowhill's crowned jewel.

I'll be the first to admit that architecture is not without its popular trends, but at the same time, I am a product of my times. Sheathing buildings in a "modern" skin never lasts. It conjures images of South Broad brownstones clad in steeply pitched vinyl faux shingles.

And in all honestly, that's how we'll see the renovations at 12th and Wood in a decade or two.

Still, in a city as architecturally diverse as Philadelphia, the juxtaposition of Brutalism and Classicism often warrants "ugly" architecture a place in the textbooks. More to the point, a building so popularly styled, trendy or not, in a neighborhood all but forgotten is sure to attract not just residents, but businesses and developers.

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