At Eyes on the Street, we’re suckers for a great storfront – from sleek contemporary design to revamped classics. The best storefronts catch your eye, add life to the streetscape, and are creative expressions of commerce. So it’s with great pleasure that we show off the winners of this year’s Storefront Challenge, hosted by the Community Design Collaborative and the Commerce Department.
Back in August EOTS helped spread the word about the contest, geared at showing off examples of recent storefront improvements that serve to strengthen our city’s commercial corridors and promote local businesses. To be eligible for this year’s awards, construction must have been completed since October 2010.
A panel of all-star design judges picked the winners from more than 60 nominees. Several of the city’s resurgent commercial corridors – Frankford Avenue, South Street West, East Passyunk – were well represented among this year’s honorees. The awards were handed out at a ceremony on Wednesday, held as part of DesignPhiladelphia.
And the Citywide Storefront Challenge winners are…
BANG FOR THE BUCK: Little Baby’s Ice Cream, 2311 Frankford Avenue
Little Baby’s won this category for their new storefront. They spent about $2,000 on facade renovations, making a big splash for a relatively low pricetag. Honorable mention went to Community Bikes and Boards.
GREEN WITH ENVY: (tie) YIKES, 204-06 East Girard Avenue and Adorn, 1314 Frankford Avenue
YIKES, in a LEED certified building on East Girard, tied with Adorn on Frankford Avenue. Both are storefronts designed with sustainability in mind. [Corrected: Adorn was previously listed as an honorable mention.]
NIGHTLIFE: Tria, 3131 Walnut Street
Tria‘s outpost in University City got high marks for their wood-walled terrace that activates the building’s ground floor at night. Honorable mention goes to Ubar – the reimagined Uncle’s at the corner of Locust and Camac.
CORRIDOR CATALYST: Jet Wine Bar, 1525 South Street (individual); 52nd Street Business Development Corporation (group)
Jet Wine Bar invested in the look of South Street West near Broad pretty early on, perhaps motivating others to follow suit recently. Honorable mention goes to The Pickled Heron in Fishtown. The 52nd Street Business Development Corporation earned honors as a group for changing the commercial corridor’s overall look after the long sidewalk canopies along 52nd were removed.
PAINTED LADIES: (tie) Virgin Hair Boutique and Reed’s Coffee and Tea, 3800 block of Lancaster Avenue
Two of Lancaster Avenue’s Victorian storefronts got creative paint jobs that really shine – Virgin Hair pops with orange and violet, while Reed’s keeps a coffee and cream scheme.
PARDON OUR APPEARANCE: Shake Shack, 2000 Sansom Street
During construction Shake Shack showed us how plain plywood could be dressed up.
BEST OVERALL: Frankford Hall, 1210-22 Frankford Avenue
The judges thought Frankford Hall had it all – it’s been a catalytic presence on Frankford Avenue, adds great life after dark, and made the best out of a once-hostile facade. Runners up included: Tria Wine Room, The Cambridge, Locust Moon, Hipster Home, Will, and South Philly Comics.
Photo credits: If not Street View, photos provided by the Community Design Collaborative.