Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Phoenix Rises on Beech Street in Pottstown

Photos by Evan Brandt

VIPs gather Wednesday afternoon for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Beech Street Factory.

A major thing happened in the neighborhood in Pottstown Wednesday where major things don't happen too often.

A veritable crowd of people want to live in the former

Fecera's warehouse, despite a recent shooting near there.
After more than a decade of sitting empty and slowly deteriorating, the 105-year-old brick building built as a shirt factory began its new life as an art center.

Once a symbol of the work that was once easy to find in Pottstown, it will now stand as a symbol of what determination can accomplish in a much more complicated world.

That building will be home to 43 apartments and ArtFusion 19464, and stand as an example of what it means not to give up on Pottstown, particularly in the neighborhood all too many feel is beyond help.
Judy Memberg with lobby furniture donated

by Fecera's Furniture, which once owned
the warehouse.

It's already working.

Judy Memberg, the steadfast hand on the tiller of Genesis Housing Corp., said the property behind the former Fecera's Furniture warehouse at the corner of Beech and North Evans streets has already been rehabilitated.

And a long-vacant home adjacent to the new parking lot has been purchased for rehab.

It didn't happen overnight, and it didn't happen in a vacuum.

It took a lot of people with their own agendas (and kingdoms) giving up a little territory and control and believing in something other than "what's in it for me?," or to be more Pottstown-specific -- "I'm not doing anything to help (fill in the blank)."
Erika Hornberg-Cooper, in green dress, 

welcomes visitors even as work on the space
continued Wednesday.

I guess $13 million can do that.

Congratulations to all and to ArtFusion 19464 for successfully pivoting from its long-held property on High Street into this space, located even closer to the population director Erika Hornberg-Cooper is focusing on helping.

Here are some Tweets from the ribbon-cutting Wednesday. Look for full-coverage in an upcoming edition of The Mercury.

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