Inside The Colorful Creative Compound

 

Gonna have a ball tonight ... down at the Globe | Photo: Bradley Maule

Gonna have a ball tonight … down at the Globe | Photo: Bradley Maule

For 140 years, the Workshop of the World bled many colors from Worth Street in Frankford. Globe Dye Works, established by Richard Greenwood in 1865, pumped water from the Little Tacony Creek (now sewered under Torresdale Avenue) for use in dyeing and bleaching processes.

The company grew, dyeing and winding yarns and keeping up with technological advancements like synthetic dyes, to occupy 17 buildings. Globe Dye Works remained in business, owned by the Greenwood family, until 2005. That year, Charlie Abdo, Pete Kelly, and Matt and Ian Pappajohn partnered to buy the 17 buildings and foster the evolution of the Workshop of the World, transforming the facilities into craft manufacturing, art production, and exhibition. Among the tenants who’ve set up shop are a chocolatier, two boatbuilders, a book and printmaker, a floral designer, an antiquarian, and a number of artists.

Coming soon to the boiler room, Oil & Water

Coming soon to the boiler room, Oil & Water

In a sense, Globe Dye Works embodies the Hidden City vision: to activate spaces deemed obsolete and march forward with and within them. It’s no coincidence, then, that it’s one of our nine sites for the Hidden City Festival 2013.

With Oil & Water, Philadelphia’s Dufala Brothers are taking the boiler room of Globe and amplifying defunct infrastructure—by creating it anew. Recalling Nathaniel Popkin’s thoughts on the contemporary and the temporary, the Dufala Brothers’ installation “blurs the line between historic and contemporary technological function and outdated industrial detritus.” Using locally sourced recycled materials, Oil & Water turns the notable rehabilitation of Globe Dye Works around, creating a “de-hab” space instead.

The photos below are from a visit Nathaniel and I paid to Globe Dye Works in 2009, months before even the last Hidden City Festival. So this is a preview, a way back preview, to this exceptional site for this year’s festival. Click any of them to launch the gallery.

* * *

For more on the Globe Dye Works site, see HERE or visit their web site HERE. For more on the Dufala Brothers’ Oil & Water installation, see HERE, or visit their web site HERE.

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.



Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
Philadelphia Far Behind Peer Cities Says National Trust

Philadelphia Far Behind Peer Cities Says National Trust

January 19, 2018  |  News

Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force convened last night for their seventh official meeting. Starr Herr-Cardillo reports > more

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