Goldtex, After The War

 

Coat of many colors: the metamorphosis of Goldtex | Photo: Bradley Maule

Coat of many colors: the metamorphosis of Goldtex | Photo: Bradley Maule

“We have a budget, and we’re sticking to it,” states product director Josh Guelbart. This matter-of-fact assessment underscores Post Brothers’ momentous progress after the September ceasefire in the infamous Goldtex trade union standoff. “Now we’re focused on getting our building done.”

Considering the attention that’s been paid the contentious project, reaching a point nearing completion has been no small feat. And yet, Goldtex is nearly ready to rent—and on budget. While the lobby and leasing office are still being finished, tours began last week for prospective lessees at the 163-unit apartment building.

Even in its mid-metamorphosis state, Goldtex is a benchmark in the transition of the neighborhood, call it Callowhill, or the Loft District, or Chinatown North, or Eraserhood. The former shoe factory, built in 1904, is undergoing an extreme makeover designed by KlingStubbins, whose extensive local legacy includes Penn Center, Independence Mall, and more recently, the USPS’ Mail Operation and Delivery Unit at 30th & Chestnut. It’s also worth noting that KlingStubbins is the architect of the mixed use tower proposed by Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation on just the other side of the Reading Viaduct from Goldtex.

Viaduct below: the cable to the left is not a zipline . . . yet | Photo: Bradley Maule

Viaduct below: the cable to the left is not a zipline . . . yet | Photo: Bradley Maule

“We love the vision for the Reading Viaduct,” Guelbart says. “If the city’s actually able to move it forward, we’re going to make a direct connection to it [from Goldtex].” As attendees of last night’s discussion on the Viaduct would attest, there is promise of that, as it’s very much a part of the City’s Philadelphia 2035 Central District Plan, released this week.

Mondrian, modified: looking south from the 2nd floor | Photo: Bradley Maule

Mondrian, modified: looking south from the 2nd floor | Photo: Bradley Maule

Where the hope of the Reading Viaduct is, like New York’s High Line, spurred economic development, Goldtex may well serve as its harbinger. An as yet undetermined restaurant in the Osteria-Alla Spina-Route 6 vein of neighboring North Broad Street will occupy the ground floor. Design wise, the building’s transformation intentionally shirks its industrial past for a more contemporary layout. The 10′ tall glass panels, of multiple colors and multiple materials, are meant to mask the vertical columns typical of other loft conversions in the neighborhood.

Perhaps more importantly, they envelop the building, set out six inches from the existing structure, allowing for extra layers of insulation, a decrease in drafts and heat escape, and maximizing natural light. The glass exoskeleton is among the items on the Goldtex bullet list, which also includes 100% wind energy, locally sourced materials (the interior designs are even handled in-house), a rainwater retention system, and an enormous bicycle parking area, toward the bid to achieve LEED Silver certification.

It’s an ambitious goal for an ambitious bunch. As work wraps up at Goldtex—move-in is scheduled to begin May 1st, its roof terrace (which includes a gym, pool, and hot tub) to be completed in early summer—Post Brothers is already making plans at the Atlantic Building, which they purchased last summer, starting with a name change. At Broad and Spruce, Guelbart explains, “it’s not just on South Broad Street, it is South Broad Street. It’s going to sound like it.” While the name has not yet been decided upon, all signs indicate it’s going to embody South Broad chic.

Waitin' on a sunny day: roof terrace under construction | Photo: Bradley Maule

Waitin’ on a sunny day: roof terrace under construction | Photo: Bradley Maule

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland OR, Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.



3 Comments


  1. The cladding is incredibly ugly. Some Philly architects just can’t get out of the 80s.

  2. The building looks like its got a long way to go to me. Not sure what’s with all the blog article making it sound like the building is pretty much completed and move-in ready. Or is picture of building facade above pretty close to the final look will be?

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
African-American Abolitionist & Son Of Former Vice President Aaron Burr Receives Formal Recognition

African-American Abolitionist & Son Of Former Vice President Aaron Burr Receives Formal Recognition

August 19, 2019  |  News

The remains of John Pierre Burr, a black Philadelphia abolitionist and natural son of former Vice President Aaron Burr, has resided in an unmarked grave for more than a century. He will receive formal recognition and an official headstone on Saturday, August 24. Kessler Thibert has the details > more

Historic Maritime Landmark Under Threat After Construction Mishap

Historic Maritime Landmark Under Threat After Construction Mishap

August 15, 2019  |  News

Deferred maintenance and a construction error endangers Edward Corner warehouse, one of the waterfront's last prominent reminders of Philadelphia's shipping history. Starr Herr Cardillo has the details > more

In Northeast Philadelphia, A Rich History Of Train Tracks And Acquisitions

In Northeast Philadelphia, A Rich History Of Train Tracks And Acquisitions

August 13, 2019  |  Vantage

Ed Duffy give us a panoramic view of railroad history in Northeast Philadelphia with this longform essay > more

Eastern State Penitentiary Illuminates “Hidden Lives” Of The Incarcerated

Eastern State Penitentiary Illuminates “Hidden Lives” Of The Incarcerated

August 9, 2019  |  News

"Hidden Lives Illuminated," an animated film project created by inmates of SCI Chester, debuts at Eastern State Penitentiary on August 15. Kimberly Haas went inside the state prison to speak with the incarcerated artists > more

Rittenhouse SoundWorks Keeps The Tune Ups Coming In Old Auto Garage

Rittenhouse SoundWorks Keeps The Tune Ups Coming In Old Auto Garage

August 7, 2019  |  Vantage

A Germantown couple bet big on adaptive reuse when they converted an old garage into a full-service recording studio in 2014. Today, they are sought out by musicians from around the globe. Stacia Friedman has the story > more

In Germantown, Saving A Neighborhood's Character One Renovation At A Time

In Germantown, Saving A Neighborhood’s Character One Renovation At A Time

August 2, 2019  |  Vantage

Emily Birdie Busch profiles nine renovation projects in Germantown that are keeping the neighborhood's architectural history within view > more