Turning Philadelphia’s industrial past into jobs today

    Turning industrial shells into workplaces, not condos

    Tonight design professionals will unveil plans to turn a few of Philadelphia’s old industrial sites into spaces for new job-generating industries. The project that matches community groups, owners of industrial buildings with local architects and planners.

    The design professionals took on three sites: a former candle-making factory in North Philadelphia, a tightly-packed complex of factory buildings in Kensington, and an old riverfront industrial district in the Southwest.

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    Beth Miller is the Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative. She says by working with the community early on she hopes they’ll feel engaged in the transformation of the empty behemoths.

    “They’re so much perceived as sources of blight and danger to changing that perception may be a long haul but if you can start to kind of visualize what might happen and combine it with the needs that are in the community I think it become an asset for the workers, the residents, and the businesses in that neighborhood.”

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    Miller says the next step is to figure out how much the projects would cost.

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