Food Fueling West Philly Project

Image: The Enterprise Center

Crews are in the process of transforming one of the nation’s first supermarkets–the former Acme on 48th Street between Pine and Spruce–into the Center for Culinary Enterprises (CCE), Philadelphia’s first food business center.

The project is an effort of The Enterprise Center, the veteran entrepreneurial training and start-up incubator, which is located in the old WFIL-TV studio at 46th and Market. When it is completed in July 2012, the CCE will contain three licensed commercial kitchens, a youth-run training restaurant, an eKitchen Multimedia Learning Center, and two retail spaces, including a sit-down restaurant.

Through the CCE, The Enterprise Center hopes to launch or accelerate at least 10 new food businesses a year and create 13 full-time jobs and 32 part-time jobs on-site. The business clients who utilize the shared-use kitchens are projected to create between 36 and 63 jobs annually.

In addition, the CCE will work to annually place 50 individuals in workforce positions in the culinary industry and train 100 high school students in restaurant and hospitality management. Community health and nutrition programming is anticipated to serve at least 400 individuals each year.

Photo: Rachel Hildebrandt

Managing Director of The Enterprise Center CDC Greg Heller explained that the building was selected because it was “a long vacant eyesore on a prominent commercial corridor.”

The supermarket was built in the late 1930s by Clarence Siegel, developer of the surrounding community. Siegel planned the neighborhood, which is roughly bounded by Spruce and Larchwood to the north and south and 46th and 50th to the east and west, according to Garden City movement design principles. This meant that the neighborhood was self-sufficient, complete with amenities such as parks and markets, and that the architecture was consonant, typically recalling the 1920s Arts and Crafts movement.

The area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Curiously, the northern boundary of Garden Court Historic District was drawn at Pine Street, excluding the prominent Garden Court Apartments (and the supermarket) that had given the district its name.

To learn more about the Center for Culinary Enterprises, visit the project website HERE and stay tuned for additional information as the project takes shape.

About the author

Rachel Hildebrandt, a recent graduate of PennDesign, is a native Philadelphian who is passionate about the changing city she inhabits. Before beginning her graduate studies in historic preservation with a focus on policy, Rachel obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and co-authored two books, The Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer (2009) and Oak Lane, Olney, and Logan (2011). She currently works as a program associate at Partners for Sacred Places.



No Comments


Trackbacks

  1. Skyline Stories: Straddling buses, Philly’s The Porch at 30th St Station, Little Red Lighthouse | URBN Fabric

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Germantown Masonic Hall Shakes Hands With Development

Germantown Masonic Hall Shakes Hands With Development

July 25, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow gives us the rundown on the history, and future, of a Gothic Revival meeting hall on Germantown Avenue > more

A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia's Epidemics

A History Of Leadership During Philadelphia’s Epidemics

July 21, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Sam Dunnington examines disease outbreaks in Philadelphia and the individuals that helped the city navigate its most deadly epidemics > more

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

La Salle University Tears Down Historic Victorian Home

July 19, 2017  |  News

Another historic home is demolished by La Salle University for campus expansion > more

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia's First Navy Yard

Shaping Up And Shipping Out At Philadelphia’s First Navy Yard

July 18, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K sets sail for South Philly where shipbuilding and national defense once defined the Delaware River waterfront > more

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

Demolition Of Two Neighborhood Sanctuaries Begins

July 14, 2017  |  News

Two historic churches meet the wrecking ball this week. Michael Bixler reports > more

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

Marked Potential: Film Exchange Building

July 12, 2017  |  Marked Potential

Shila Griffith is back with the latest and last edition of her column, Market Potential. In this final piece, Griffith reinvents a vacant, Mid-century Modern landmark near Chinatown as a cooperative cooking space for culinary entrepreneurs > more