Wilde Yarns Lofts Project Finally Making Good Progress

Across the street from the Main Street UA 6 sits a collection of old industrial buildings that, until relatively recently, looked like they had been sitting abandoned for years. Workshop of the World tells us that this property, 3737 Main St., was home to the Wilde Yarn Mill, with the first building constructed back in 1884. Remarkably, the mill was still in operation, though in a limited capacity, until 2008. As we said, from looking at the property, you would not have expected this to be the case.

In the past

Over four years ago, we told you that a developer had designs on redeveloping the property to residential use, with plans for 45 apartments and 45 parking spots. Then it was radio silence on the property for quite some time. Sure enough, a new developer stepped in after a couple of years, purchasing the property from the previous group. The new owner, Barzilay Development, has plenty of experience in the adaptive reuse business, having converted the former Saint Matt’s on Grays Ferry Avenue to the Sanctuary Lofts, among other projects. It was at some point within the last year that work got moving on the property, and the effort shows, especially with a staggering number of new windows.

View of the project
Closer look

Looking at the permits, it appears that the unit count has gone up from 45 to 50, though we don’t know whether the number of parking spaces will grow by a corresponding factor. We don’t see why it would matter if it does, as the property sits next door to the Wissahickon train station. Needless to say, the developers have much work to do to build apartments here, as parts of the interior were totally raw space.

A peek inside, a couple years ago

Once the work is done, look for the Wilde Yarn Lofts to look like this, at least at night or during an eclipse:

Project rendering

We love this project, as it preserves a part of the industrial history of the area and represents a huge step up from the architecture of every new construction project of a similar scale in the neighborhood. We’re looking forward to seeing the project wrap up soon, and will try to get a tour once the units are ready. As much as the image above would suggest that the answer is no, we wonder whether there were any original details to save in there. Even if not, we’ll call it a win to keep the outside of the building intact.

  • kclo3

    I love it when developers take the effort to install proper factory-style windows. Nothing else looks quite as right.

    • Kevin

      Exactly. That’s one benefit of the historic tax credit.

  • CK

    This project is being supported in part by Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits, a program which helps achieve two of the things that are highlighted in this article – preservation of historic buildings that are important to our city and individual neighborhoods AND materials and architectural details that are generally higher quality than most new construction

  • Steve Erdosi

    Looks great.