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Globe Dye Works profiled in report on Philadelphia’s Creative Vitality

The Globe Dye Works complex gets a hefty nod from the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.  The Three-Year index of Creative Vitality in Philadelphia tries to measure Philadelphia’s creative economy against the nation.

Check out these awesome quotes from the report:

Creative entrepreneurs of all kinds—from a renowned steel drum maker to painters and art framers to a wooden boat company—are heading north. Not to New York, but to Frankford, the once-thriving, historically working-class neighborhood just six miles north of Center City Philadelphia. What’s drawing them there is Globe Dye Works, a former textile manufacturing site-turned-creative compound.

The complex is considered a great example of industrial reuse and adaptation by the city, which itself is considered to be ahead of the curve nationally in the creative economy.

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Endangered City Exhibit Coming to The Globe Dye Works

The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia is throwing a bash at the Globe Dye Works to benefit it’s Alliance Advocacy Fund.  Entitled Endangered City, the exhibition will showcase the expressions found in Philadelphia’s architectural history.  Help support local artists, celebrate our cultural past and future, and help protect historical architecture in our city.  A $10 donation is suggested.

[link] Press Release for Endangered City

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Modern Cellar, Custom Wine Cellar and Furnishings Designer, Has Moved Into The Globe Dye Works

I have a wine fridge.  I really do.  It’s a tiny little thing that only holds about 12 bottles that my wife and I picked up from Best Buy a while ago.  Eventually we made the heart renching decision to unplug it because it became our mission to fill it up.  Filling it up was fun, the emptying it out was even more fun and began interfering with our running.  We’ve also gone to a few classes at the Wine School of Philadelphia, which is such a cool experience, I’d recommend it for anyone.  We’re wine novices, but you know, we aspire….

So it is with more than passing curiosity that I’ve noted “a family owned company specializing in custom wine cellar consultation, design and craftsmanship”, Modern Cellar, has taken up residence in The Globe Dye Works complex.  Check out their press page for an extensive and impressive list of media where their wares have been showcased.  I don’t know to what extent their presence is, whether they’re manufacturing or distributing, or just run offices there, but I’m definitely curious.  If Frankford is playing any part in wine culture, I must have an item, it’s a shame I probably can’t afford a custom cellar.  I can, however, already envision where their INSTA wine rack will go in my kitchen.  Aside from their complete custom work. their prefab stuff is being sold by local shops Matthew Izzo in Old City, and Hipster Home in Phoenixville, and of course are available online.  Very cool.


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Is Frankford In Northeast Philly?

Does it matter if Frankford is in Northeast Philly?  If I had my way, Frankford would always be in the same conversation as Kensington, our neighbor to along the El.  I always have the same line that I use when talking about Frankford’s future.  “I don’t mind Frankford being compared to Kensington, ’cause there’s hope in Kensington”.  Kensington’s a dirty word in Northeast Philly but elsewhere I would say most people consider it to be gentrifying.  The rest of the Northeast, however, seems to be scared that they’re in a long, slow decline.  What I don’t like to see is when Frankford gets thrown into the abyss of “North Philly”.  That’s not awesome at all.

So I asked Jack McCarthy, former famed archivist for the Historical Society of Frankford, and winner of Northeast Philly Quizzo over at the Grey Lodge many months ago.  This was his response:

I would say that there is more or less consensus that the southern boundary of NE Phila is the Frankford Creek/Tacony Creek. (Coming out of Cheltenham it’s Tacony Creek, and becomes Frankford Creek at the point where Wingohocking Creek, which is no longer there, emptied into it.) This was the southern border of the old Oxford Township in Philadelphia County before the 1854 City/County Consolidation.

The Phila City Planning Commission calls the area between Frankford/Tacony Creek and Pennypack Creek the “Near Northeast” and the area between Pennypack and Poquessing Creeks the “Far Northeast.” See the following:

The borders of Frankford are a different matter. Frankford was a borough from 1800 to 1854; it had its own government and specific boundaries, with Frankford Creek being its southern boundary. The boundaries were actually changed a couple of times in the early 1800s and then the borough was abolished in the 1854 consolidation. Frankford then became w
hat it is now – just a neighborhood of Philadelphia.

More clues to bolster our case:

  • The Center for Northeast History has been run out of the Historical Society of Frankford’s building
  • I heard that the venerable historian and former Lincoln High principal Harry Silcox put Frankford in the first chapter of one of his books(someone fact check this for me)
  • Wikipedia puts Frankford in Northeast Philly

I would go so far as to say that the consensus is the southern border of Northeast Philadelphia is the Frankford Creek.  And that puts Frankford in Northeast Philly.

Many apologies to Jack McCarthy for just totally taking a nap on this post.  I emailed him for his opinion back in April and am just getting around to this post.

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I Want To Talk About Frankford’s Borders

I want to start a discussion of Frankford’s borders and geography, and also about Frankford’s place in Philadelphia.  I think there are a lot of opportunities to discuss Frankford’s identity that way.  There’s a lot of interesting questions floating out there.  Is Frankford in the Northeast or North Philly?  It’s probably got more in common with Kensington than it does with the rest of the Northeast.  I don’t think most people would dispute that.  And what are the implications of that?

There’s also history to consider.  A look at Frankford’s borders are a look at it’s identity.  Where did Frankford Valley come from?  I think in the next few years there will be some interesting developments to the south, near where they built the Lowes and such.  Will the developments on the fringes of Frankford be attributed to Frankford or will they be taken away by Port Richmond or Juniata or Bridesburg.