Gray Area 3—Negotiating Between Contemporary Design and Historic Preservation

University of the Arts



Title page of the limited-edition catalog Gray Area: Provocations on the Future of Preservation, produced by Gray Area, part of DesignPhiladelphia, with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2011.

The next phase of a multi-part conversation about historic preservation, first initiated in 2011, Gray Area 3 will convene community members and a team that includes architect and Pew Fellow Brian Phillips, a builder, an educator, a preservationist, and a public historian. They will discuss the "adaptive re-use" of two vacant Philadelphia buildings: the Max Levy building at 212-220 Roberts Avenue in Germantown and Hawthorne Hall at 3849 Lancaster Avenue in Mantua. The project is conceived to stimulate discussion around these sites, and many others like them, by exploring contemporary design solutions that take into account community needs, preservation concerns, and the modern realities of urban life. Local residents will also be chosen to act as "community partners," in order to gather and incorporate public feedback.