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Architects aiding in Sharswood revitalization

Architects aiding in Sharswood revitalization

Our Neighborhood Revitalization work in Sharswood this summer focused on the bustling Athletic Recreation Center at 26th and Master Streets. A keystone of the community, this historic building is an important neighborhood resource that needed a little TLC.  

While we work to empower the community with improved resources, we know that we cannot do this work alone. The help of several architects who lent time and talent to elevate our work at the Sharswood Athletic Recreation Center fueled our Neighborhood Revitalization efforts this past summer.

Jeffrey Brummer Architects, BWA Architecture + Planning, and Vivian Rowe of Compass Rose Spatial Design all played important parts in the design of community garden spaces surrounding the Recreation Center, which we built out with volunteer support.

BWA and Jeffrey Brummer, who have a history with the Sharswood Athletic Recreation Center and have done pro-bono work for this historic building in the past, were influential in getting the project moving forward.

“We first learned about the rich history and inspirational ways that Athletic Rec Center serves the Sharswood neighborhood by volunteering for the Community Design Collaborative, AIA Philadelphia, Parks and Rec, and AEC Cares team effort to transform Athletic Rec’s interior finishes and furniture,” said Morris Zimmerman, Principal at BWA Architecture + Planning. “We are so pleased to continue to be involved with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s effort to increase access and use of the Center!”

If you visit the Athletic Recreation Center today, you will find a beautiful enclosed deck area at the rear of the building, with unique flower boxes and planters designed by Vivian Rowe of Compass Rose. “I believe in a symbiotic relationship between people and nature. We are healthier when we spend time outdoors, so we need to be developing new ways to facilitate lifestyles that integrate the indoors and outdoors,” says Vivian.

A volunteer begins preparing to install decking in the rear of the Athletic Recreation Center

Vivian understands the importance of our community-centric work, and was instrumental in the transformation of an unused space into a multipurpose community area: “I have always admired Habitat Humanity for understanding the need to build not just shelters, but homes. Now I'm excited that this vision is expanding into the importance of community as home and how the spaces between buildings contribute to our sense of belonging and place.”

Vivian works with volunteers on the garden 

We are grateful for the support of the architecture community in coming together to support our residents and neighbors in Sharswood. 

Volunteers prep planters in the new multipurpose space