The process of creating art can be a matter of taking something seemingly useless and transforming it into something beautiful and meaningful. That is precisely, and ironically, happening in Pottstown, PA, with the Beech Street Factory project.
The Beech Street Factory is an adaptive reuse project in which an ever-transitioning site is being converted into comfortable, sustainable, affordable apartments geared toward local artists. Initially constructed in 1912, this massive brick warehouse complex served first as the Leibowitz Shirt Factory, then the Fecera’s furniture warehouse. Today, it sits as a deteriorating structure in need of a revival.
The project, led by BartonPartners Architects (of Norristown, PA), will result in the creation of mixed-use residential and commercial space, the latter of which will provide the new home for ArtFusion 19464, a local non-profit art center. The renovations will be complimented by overall site developments including landscaped parking lots, a new central open-air courtyard, and other amenities such as gallery space, leasing offices, a community room and more.
The commercial space, approximately 4,000 square feet, will provide room for multiple classrooms and establish a permanent space to host art and cultural events. The apartments — 43 total, in one, two, and three-bedrooms styles — will be marketed primary to artists. The goal is to attract more artists to the Pottstown area and create a well-established community.
“We are excited to see this investment in Pottstown and the local arts community,” says Tom Barton, principle at BartonPartners Architects. “Affordably priced housing and working space for artists is a long standing challenge for the region. With this new facility, Pottstown will be on the forefront of communities providing for this pressing need. We also hope the project will bring new vitality to the important arts community in Pottstown.”
You can learn more about the Beech Street Factory project here.
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