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First Round of Design Grants for 2017

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The Community Design Collaborative is proud to announce its newest Design Grants to nonprofits!

The Collaborative will work alongside Beacon to consider the future use and redevelopment of its underutilized facility in Kensington—assessing the condition of its existing building, identifying current and future space and programmatic needs, and advising on potential opportunities for space-sharing. Beacon is a neighborhood faith community located in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia that supports children through art and storytelling.

Thomas K. Finletter Academics Plus School, with the support of S.P.E.A.K., has asked the Collaborative for a conceptual design to improve its schoolyard, with the goal of creating a safe, fun, active, and inclusive outdoor space that fosters relationships within the school and surrounding community. The schoolyard will support the school’s mission: to promote academic excellence through a rich interdisciplinary curriculum.

The Collaborative will be working with Mt. Vernon Manor in Mantua to provide additional opportunities for affordable housing by creating a conceptual design for the renovation of an vacant rowhome and the construction of an adjacent three-story, mixed-use building. The project will serve as a model for affordable infill housing that complements the 75-unit Mt. Vernon Manor Apartments and the organization’s mission to provide affordable housing opportunities that foster strong families and champion a strong, sustainable quality of life.  

Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation wants to restore its 3-acre lawn back to a woodland habitat. The Collaborative will provide a conceptual design for the restored woodlands, a significant portion of the Gloria Dei Church grounds, and make recommendations for how the entire church site can best serve the church and the community in the future while preserving its rich history.  The mission of Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation is to fund, support, and supervise the restoration, renovation, and maintenance of the Gloria Dei (Old Swede’s) Church buildings, grounds, and graveyard.

Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) wants to establish a creative co-working facility on the East Baltimore Avenue Commercial Corridor. The organization needs to understand how the building can be reused as both office space for LEDC and leasable studio space for artists. The Collaborative’s recommendations on the changes required to the building’s systems, the arrangement and allocation of interior space, and estimated construction costs will help the organization to determine the project’s feasibility and to direct improvements by the property owner. LEDC’s goal is to generate economic activity and encourage investment in Lansdowne.

Parkside Association of Philadelphia is returning for a second phase of preliminary design services. A site feasibility study by the Collaborative in 2016 evaluated two scenarios for redeveloping vacant and city-owned land as a youth sports facility offering new opportunities for daily practices and competitive tournaments—as well as community fitness and education. The feasibility study provided the catalyst for wider support and key decisions about the scope of the proposed sports program and redevelopment site. The Collaborative will now create a conceptual design for the new facility based on these parameters.

About Design Grants
The Collaborative’s Design Grants offers pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia. Design Grants give nonprofits the opportunity to work side by side with volunteers from the design profession – architects, landscape architects, preservationists, interior designers, urban planners, engineers, cost estimators, and others—to put their visions down on paper and advance to the next stage: gaining support, raising funds, and building projects. Wherever a nonprofit's mission and vision are taking them, we're here to help. See our recent work or apply for a Design Grant.  

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