Drab to Rehab

Yesterday, I met with a lovely couple in the Fishtown section of Philly. They own a really interesting building called the Maas buildingwhich has a storied past, but is now used as their primary residence and an event space. Walking through these unique old buildings in Philly really gets my creative juices flowing… and also my jealousy juices. The couple’s stunning home on the top floor of the building was a massive converted loft complete with a Zen garden/indoor hammock room, and tons of natural light. I wish I could show you photos, but I thought it rude to ask since I was so kindly invited into their private residence. (On another note, I was there discussing one of my new projects 13th Street Cocktails. If you’re in the Philly area we will be doing a chef’s tasting secret dinner party at the Maas Building sometime in January, so be on the lookout for more information.)

My meeting got me thinking about how stupid I’ve been to not save every penny and buy one of the worn-down, but super full of character buildings but…travel. Out of curiosity, I started to search for similar properties in Philly. Turns out the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority owns a bunch of these old buildings, and is in the business of selling them to people willing to rehab them, sometimes for as low as $1! Curious what it would take to to rehab my fictional $1 warehouse I found some shinning examples of perfectly renovated factories, and my jealousy continues…

Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out

“Originally, this Melbourne home was a leather factory, built in 1911 … now converted into a home, it even has it’s own little courtyard and classic loft bedroom. The conversion retained the original baltic pine floorboards, warehouse windows and timber ceilings, lightening up the rooms, the interior exposed bricks were painted white. Furnished mostly in industrial style, complementing the style & origins of the building.” Found on Dust-Jacket Attic

Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out
Photos by Derek Swalwell for Inside Out

How about this converted warehouse in San Francisco, that now houses a seriously modern, asian inspired duplex? The concrete is a little cold for my taste, but imagine owning all that space in San Francisco. That’s unheard of! Found on Freshome

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Check out this mid-century inspired Tribeca warehouse! Built in 1884 as a caviar factory and recently converted, the 3,000 square foot private residence is meant to create a “visual discourse between old and new.” Found on Contemporist

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My new plan is to scour the city for one of the diamond-in-the-rough $1 properties, buy it, and promptly convert it into the very best Bed & Breakfast this city has ever seen. In the meantime, I’m pretty excited to watch as this rehab project finally begins after years of stalling,  just down the street from me. 
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I wish I could find more before and after pics, but they were relatively hard to come. If anyone has some interesting examples send ’em over to thedailyration@gmail.com and I’ll make sure to get another post up with your submissions.