The City of Philadelphia is trying an experiment in Chestnut Hill to see if art exhibits in vacant commercial buildings can help stimulate economic activity in the area.
Chestnut Hill’s retail corridor has been hit hard by the recession and despite aggressive retail recruiting efforts still has a number of prominent empty storefronts.
The Chestnut Hill experiment New Trails is the first project of Philadelphia’s ReStore Corridors Through Art program. In addition to vacant stores art is also being shown along trails in the Wissahickon Valley.
“Bustling commercial corridors are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods and the backbone of our business community,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Public space for art and creative use will engage the community in new ways. Our Administration places a high value on supporting Philadelphia’s creative industries.”