LINC to PLACE: affordable live/work space is coming


Remember LINC?

Artblog covered the day-long symposium LINC and others sponsored that was all about creating affordable work/live space and other issues (health care for artists). Here is a post and here is another and you’ll find more links in our index under “linc.”

Today, one of the LINC participants, Chris Velasco, who at the time of the LINC symposium was with a group called ARTSPACE, sent out a news blast from his new organization (new to me at any rate) PLACE. Velasco was the housing-sector expert at the LINC meeting.

Aside from the acronymification of the non-profit sector, the news from PLACE is good, and the email came with this lovely aerial view of Philadelphia, which I am sharing.

Philadelphia fly-over
Aerial view of our fair city that came with the PLACE email this morning.

Here’s the news:

The William Penn Foundation and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival have launched a major new initiative to create up to three state-of-the-art communities for artists, arts organizations and creative businesses in Philadelphia. PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment), a nonprofit arts and community development organization, has been hired as the lead consultant on the initiative.

The PLACE team is actively engaged in acquiring up to three sites in Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia. Each site will become a sustainable, mixed-use, mixed-income cultural community.

PLACE seeks three, large-scale sites that offer, or can be improved to offer, at least 150,000 square feet each. Due to the affordable/nonprofit nature of the projects, it will be necessary to acquire sites as affordably as possible. Proximity to Center City is preferable—a preference specified by an overwhelming majority of the arts community. Also important is access to mass transit. Both new construction sites and adaptive reuse sites will be considered. Existing buildings must offer high ceilings (11-foot minimum) and natural light. PLACE will prepare and sign an exclusive option to purchase, or long-term lease.

The group has moved far enough along to have selected a couple of architecture/design firms and hired them for the rehabbing jobs when they do come along. (construction would begin in late 2008/early 2009–that’s a target, not a firm date)

Here’s the design team, apparently known for their green projects:

FX Fowle Architects and

Kitchen and Associates

Kitchen and Associates did the rehab in Kensington known as Coral Street Arts House. Here’s a link to a nice lost and found project related to Coral St.

You can sign up for the email newsletter at the PLACE website which, at the moment, is still under construction. I’m glad this stuff is moving along, albeit slowly. It’s a good idea.


artspace, linc, place



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