3RD Ward to Open In Spring Or Summer

The church/box manufacturer at the left is part of 3RD Ward

 

“It’s about letting people reinvent themselves,” says developer David Belt, of 3RD Ward, the craft instruction and co-working space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. In partnership with Paul Maiello, Belt’s firm Macro/Sea is restoring three buildings at 4th and Thompson to house 3RD Ward Philly. Demolition and stabilization of the buildings, including the 19th century St. Lukes Church, began this spring. “The whole thing [but perhaps the cafe/restaurant] gets unwrapped at once,” in spring or summer, 2012.

The 27,000 square foot space will house studios, workshops (for jewelry, wood, metal, and textiles), a gallery, an instructional kitchen, a retail outlet, and the restaurant.

Belt is well known for creating “The Palms,” a pop-up swim club in Long Island City, Queens. The swimming pools were redeployed dumpsters. “We do projects to engage junk spaces,” he says. In 2009, Belt participated in Infill, the Community Design Collaborative-sponsored charrette on reusing vacant industrial land.

Photo: Harry Byrne

Inspired by the many glass-filled lots, Belt invented “Glassphemy,” a small glass house for throwing glass–think translucent carnival game for the angry and the ironic–which was installed on the lot at Crane Arts during Design Philadelphia.

“It was a party,” explains Beth Miller, executive director of the Community Design Collaborative, “but it was more than a party, it was a network of people to take advantage of this moment in Philadelphia,” and soon enough Belt was off exploring the city.

Inside the church/box manufacturer/3RD Ward | Photo: Harry Byrne

Belt grew up partially in Center City and lived there in the late-1980s. “This was like a homecoming for him,” says Miller. But Belt says it was the Collaborative that “made me look seriously at Philadelphia, made me realize how cool it was.”

Miller thinks 3RD Ward will be a perfect complement to Crane Arts, extending the energy that’s already loose in the neighborhood. “It’s a great project. We hope we are trending towards critical mass and new zoning for the area,” says Crane Arts co-founder Nick Kripal. Indeed, David Gleason of Crane helped Belt secure financing from The Reinvestment Fund, which specializes in neighborhood development. “We’re not making much money,” says Belt. “We bought the buildings then asked ourselves what could we do to have something to go in them that would allow us to fix them up.” Belt says 3RD Ward was an obvious choice. Their services complement those provided at Crane and Globe Dye Works in Frankford. And Philly, he notes, isn’t all that different from Brooklyn.

“People always say Philly reminds them of Brooklyn, but to me it’s the opposite. Brooklyn reminds me of Philly.”

And this Philly, says Miller, “is definitely open for business.”

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



3 Comments


  1. what is the building to the right of the box factory?

    • It’s a former fire station–Engine House #29, built in 1894 and probably designed by John T. Windrim. Owned by the city and being marketed by PIDC–you can see the listing HERE.

  2. Hi,

    I am a member of 3rd Ward Brooklyn and I know that the founder and director is Jason Goodman, this article implies that Mr Belt is. Let’s give the man his dues.

    Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. 3rd Ward Philadelphia: Brooklyn coworking space expanding summer 2012 to 1227 N Fourth Street in Kensington — Technically Philly
  2. third ward - Design Phan

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
SEPTA Spruces Up The Underground With Downtown Link

SEPTA Spruces Up The Underground With Downtown Link

January 18, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a tour of the city's extensive pedestrian underground concourse network, soon to be rebranded by SEPTA as the "Downtown Link" > more

The Vanishing Of Northeast Village

The Vanishing Of Northeast Village

January 16, 2018  |  Vantage

David Coyne traverses bramble and broken blacktop along Roosevelt Boulevard to reveal a military housing community that was evacuated and demolished in the 1960s > more

A Field Guide To Demolition

A Field Guide To Demolition

January 12, 2018  |  Vantage

Peter Woodall spotlights specific building types facing the most development pressure in four high-profile neighborhoods > more

From Prints To Trivets, Art Imitates Life Of Manhole Covers

From Prints To Trivets, Art Imitates Life Of Manhole Covers

January 11, 2018  |  Vantage

Contributor Jonathan Schmalzbach talks with a designer and a printmaker about their obsession with manhole covers and public utility as creative muse > more

Little Corner at 10th & Market Reveals Big Legacy

Little Corner at 10th & Market Reveals Big Legacy

January 8, 2018  |  The Shadow Knows

Reading Terminal, Philadelphia Mint, Drexel Institute--all prominent landmarks built by contractor Charles McCaul. The Shadow uncovers the little-known legacy of the big time builder at a nail salon on 10th Street > more

For The Love Of Carpenter Lane

For The Love Of Carpenter Lane

December 28, 2017  |  Vantage

Tony Aiello takes a stroll down Carpenter Lane in Mt. Airy where an historical timeline can be traced in architecture > more