Meet & Greet: Go behind the scenes with us on April 30!

by Danielle parnes — April 17th, 2014   |   Events

Meet and Greet April invite header

New to the Collaborative and want to figure out how you can get involved? Volunteered before but want to learn more about how we work? Join  us on Wednesday, April 30 from 5 to 7 pm  for an open house. Get to know fellow enthusiasts and volunteers . Check out recent projects.  And find out how a good idea goes from application to design concept to report.

RSVP to this free event!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 5 to 7 pm
Center for Architecture | 1216 Arch Street

 

Blueprint for a Green Schoolyard

by Linda Dottor — April 1st, 2014   |   Design Grants, Open Space

The play's the thing... wooden stage adds a new dimension to the schoolyard.

The play’s the thing… a wooden stage adds a new dimension to the schoolyard.

E.M. Stanton Elementary School is located in Southwest Center City. Stanton has become the focus of a neighborhood campaign to recognize and enhance a strong community school.

Like many of Philadelphia’s public schools, Stanton has a small, entirely paved schoolyard. Stanton School Advisory Council and South of South Neighborhood Association came to the Collaborative for a blueprint for Greening Stanton.

The Collaborative’s volunteer team worked closely with the community to re-envision the crumbling asphalt schoolyard at 17th and Montrose Streets. They knew they had to squeeze a lot of activity (and nature) into a small space. And they knew that, for now, they needed to reserve part of the schoolyard for off-street parking. The design process entailed two community task force meetings and four schemes—and yielded a final layout for the schoolyard that supports learning, exploration, and fun.

Evaluating options at a community task force for Stanton.

Evaluating options at a community task force for Stanton.

Read Full Story

Dragon Green, Hot Pockets, and Spring Gardens

by Linda Dottor — March 31st, 2014   |   Design Grants

A conceptual plan will help Spring Gardens improve communal space.

A conceptual plan will help Spring Gardens improve communal space.

Through the Collaborative’s Design Grants, volunteer design professionals work side-by-side with communities to put their visions down on paper and move ahead with fundraising, gaining support, and getting projects built. In 2013, the Collaborative and its volunteers completed $925,000 and 8,778 hours in pro bono preliminary design services or nonprofits through 21 design grants and other technical assistance.  

We’re pleased to announce our latest Design Grants! Read Full Story

Tiny But Titanic

by Linda Dottor — March 28th, 2014   |   Design Grants, Open Space

Titan Park's renewal will have a big impact on surrounding blocks.

Titan Park’s renewal will have a big impact on surrounding blocks.

Titan Park is a remnant of a classic 70’s pocket park. It occupies less than 1,000 square feet at the corner of Titan and Howard Streets in South Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood. The pocket park has a biker’s aesthetic:  concrete paving, highway guardrails, and a circular pedestal that once held a motorcycle.

When the City took steps to sell the tiny park to a developer a few years ago, neighbors rallied to form Friends of Titan Park. The group and neighboring Friends of Manton Street Park saw potential in Titan Park as a shared “green oasis” where residents could gather, relax, and play. They came to the Collaborative to develop a compelling, largely DIY plan for renewing the park. Read Full Story

Thanks for the Lift!

by Linda Dottor — March 20th, 2014   |   At the Collaborative, Design Grants

center for arch

Thanks for joining us for last night’s Leverage benefit for the Community Design Collaborative! And thanks to our generous Leverage sponsors.

Your support means a lot to us. Proceeds from Leverage will help fund the Collaborative’s Design Grants program. Through our Design Grants, volunteer design teams work side-by-side with communities to put their visions down on paper and advance their projects—gaining support, raising funding, and building projects.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

“Our Design Grants provide leverage,” Beth Miller explained last night, “They offer nonprofits a jump start, doing some of the ‘heavy lifting’ that goes into real neighborhood transformation.” Read Full Story

Listening to Our Volunteers

by Linda Dottor — March 2nd, 2014   |   Volunteers

Workshop ideas for honing community design skills.

Workshop ideas for honing community design skills.

Our Americorps VISTA staffer Danielle Parnes has been on something of a “listening tour” lately. Which makes sense—she’s working with us this year to enhance the Collaborative volunteer experience.

In February, Danielle moderated a roundtable for volunteers. “The feedback has been really helpful,” she says. While we welcome feedback at any time, Danielle will be focused on gathering insight and ideas from volunteers through March. If you missed the roundtable and have thoughts to share, contact her at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Exchanging ideas at our February 4 volunteer roundtable.

Exchanging ideas at our February 4 volunteer roundtable.

Refreshing Ridge Avenue Storefronts

by Linda Dottor — March 2nd, 2014   |   Commercial Corridors

Facade improvement concepts for East Falls Beverage on Ridge Avenue

Facade improvement concepts for East Falls Beverage.

The Ridge Avenue – Midvale Avenue Commercial Corridor is a place for neighborhood errands as well as the front door to East Falls for Philadelphians out for a walk, run, ride, or drive along the Schuylkill River.

The corridor has been slowly re-awakening as the East Falls solidifies its identity as a sustainable trail head across from the Falls Bridge, a popular turning point for Philadelphia joggers and cyclists doing the 8-mile river loop. The proposed Ridge Flats, 146 apartments and 9,000 square feet of retail space-will add new residents and activity, so it’s a good time to spruce up nearby businesses.

The Collaborative recently partnered with the East Falls Development Corporation to work with Ridge Avenue merchants through our rStore program, which offers individual design consultations to property owners who are investing in storefront facade improvements.

Our volunteers worked with six store owners on the 4100 and 4200 blocks of Ridge Avenue. They offered facade improvement recommendations for a range of conditions. They played up good bones and remaining historic details, and offered strategies to add dimension to plainer stucco facades.

A big neon slice and patterning proposed the Slices Pizza facade

A big neon slice and patterning options proposed for the Slices Pizza facade

Design Grant Recipient
East Falls Development Corporation

Participating Businesses

  • East Falls Beverage
  • AnBrea’s Beauty Salon
  • East Falls Eye Associates, 4186 Ridge Avenue
  • BuLogics, 4200 Ridge Avenue
  • Proposed Restaurant, 4213 Ridge Avenue
  • Slices Pizza, 4249 Ridge Avenue

 

Volunteers

  • Tiffany Knight
  • Adam Musante
  • Jamie Ober
  • Ian Smith
  • Joanna Trago
  • Patrick Hauck