The Daniel Boone School at 109 W. Wildey St. in Northern Liberties stands in the shadows of the Piazza. The Gothic Revival building was designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built in 1926 with hints of Art Deco elements. In 1988, the school building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The school eventually closed and the building became abandoned and blighted. Windows were broken and boarded and graffiti adorned the facade. Roughly 15 years ago, as Northern Liberties was becoming the new hot neighborhood in Philadelphia, developer Bart Blatstein purchased the building and turned it into 45 artist loft apartments.
Just last year, the building was purchased by new owners with an eye towards refreshing the building, restoring its original elements, and adding additional amenities. The new owners also gave the building a new name – Schoolhouse Lofts.
Apartment units have been getting renovated as they have turned over during the last six months. The apartments each have unique layouts with large windows that let in tons of sunlight. Modern finished compliment the original details in the units.
An outdoor courtyard with porous hardscaping was recently added on the side of the building. Modern light fixtures and other hardware have been installed throughout. Installations from local artists have been added in the hallways and other residential spaces. Dated exterior light fixtures are being replaced with more appropriate pieces. An elevator is planned for future phases of the renovation.
One of our favorite projects that has happened within the building is the restoration of the marble wainscoting in the hallways and stairwells. The marble had unfortunately been painted over in past years. After taking a closer look at the wainscoting and discovering the stone beneath the paint, the new owners painstakingly removed the paint. The marble is now shining throughout the building. We love to see these original details uncovered in old Philadelphia buildings.
If you’re looking for an apartment in the Northern Liberties or Fishtown area, definitely go take a look at the Schoolhouse Lofts. If you move in soon, you will likely be the first person to live in one of the newly-renovated spaces.
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property