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Seven Wickedly Wonderful Conversions

By: Jennifer Murphy May 14, 2024 No Comments

You give us the before…we give you the after!

There is something eerily fascinating about seeing the transformation of a decaying building into a stunning, modern masterpiece. We’re taking a closer look at some spine-tingling examples of multi-family residential and commercial architecture projects that showcase just how much can be achieved with the right adaptive reuse design expertise and a little bit of dark magic. So brace yourself, light a candle, and prepare to be haunted by the power of architectural transformation!

Click and drag the buttons to see before and after views of our adaptive reuse projects.


The Griffin

Built in 1898, this Avenue of the Arts building was one of the city’s premier office buildings until 2000, when it was transformed into a student housing facility for the Art Institute of Philadelphia.

After: Luxury Apartments; completed 2017
Units: 217
Interior Designer: Floss Barber
Developer: MPR Realty
Contractor: Hunter Roberts

the griffin exterior before photo the griffin exterior after photo



roof deck before photo roof deck after photo


Learn more about The Griffin.


Hale Building

Built in 1887 by W. G. Hale, this landmark witnessed a revolving door of uses including office space, the Garrick Theater in the early 1900s, a Turkish bath house in the 50s and 60s, and a variety of retailers.

After: Mixed-use Retail/Office Space; completed 2019
Developer: Brickstone Realty
Contractor: Clemens Construction



Learn more about the Hale Building.


The ICON at 1616

This historic Art Deco site, built in 1929, served as an office building until its conversion.

After: Luxury Apartments; completed 2014
Units: 206
Interior Designer: Floss Barber
Developers: Federal Capital Partners, Cross Properties, & Alterra Property Group
Contractor: Hunter Roberts




Learn more about The ICON at 1616.




This converted warehouse dating back to the 1800s once stood as a leading mill during Kensington’s textile boom.

After: Affordable housing and commercial retail space; completed 2021
Units: 116
Developer: Shift Capital
Contractor: Palace Builders



Learn more about J-Centrel.



Naval Square

This historic, three-building “campus” housed the United States Naval Academy from 1834 to 1889, when it shifted into retirement housing for sailors and marines.

After: Affordable independent living apartments; completed 2007
Condos: 78
Developer: Toll Brothers
Contractor: JJ Deluca




Learn more about Naval Square.



Nugent Senior Housing

Built in 1895, this site was formerly the Nugent Home for Baptists, a senior living home for retired Baptist ministers.

After: Affordable independent living apartments; completed 2014
Units: 57
Developer: Nolen Properties
Contractor: Domus



Learn more about Nugent Senior Housing.



Presser Senior Apartments

Built in 1914, this site was formerly the Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers.

After: Affordable independent living apartments; completed 2011
Units: 45
Developer: Nolen Properties
Contractor: Fastrack Construction




Learn more about Presser Senior Apartments.