Fishtown’s Green and Reused Slow Build


Photo courtesy of Yikes

Slow building must be trending in Philly! Tracy Levesque wants to take 204 and 206 East Girard Avenue to LEED standards, hoping to redesign the address using the materials they can uncover from the building. The space is sited in Fishtown’s prominent business corridor and sits right between Murph’s Bar and tattoo artist Josh Geisler’s newly opened tattoo/piercing shop and art gallery, Black Vulture Gallery. Many would see this eternally vacant address as a tear-it-down-and-start-fresh venture but Levesque saw the potential to reuse the building’s material and make the space into a sustainable commercial and residential property. Doing this requires a great deal of patience and skill with reusing material, but can also be quite exciting and, in some cases, profitable (during the demolition process, Levesque uncovered 1950s “Hopalong Cassidy Wallpaper” wallpaper worth about $500).


Plumbob will be the architectural firm involved (part of the Onion Flats “develop/design/build” collective) and Greensaw, of course, will be the builder. Levesque plans to turn the empty space into colorful modern apartments and hopes for the project to be finished by the summer. Using green materials and reusing what the building already has to offer, Levesque will complete two commercial spaces (one will be home to Levesque’s web design firm, Yikes) and three apartments, which will feature roof decks. Fishtown must be used to these experimental and newsworthy projects by now, being such a great neighborhood for this type of growth and flexibility.