This pocket of Philadelphia has many names and many boundaries. We’ve heard this neighborhood referred to as Spring Arts, Callowhill, Chinatown North, West Poplar,Eraserhood, the Loft District, and Trestletown. A neighborhood that was once an industrial engine is quickly becoming a vibrant center for the creative class.
Broad Street to the West, 8th street to the East, Arch Street to the South and Spring Garden Street to the North are the traditional borders of the Loft Dostrict. Back in the day, we called this Eraserhood, a nod to Eraserhead, the surreal, nightmarish 1977 head-scramble of a film by David Lynch, the acclaimed director of the some of the most influential films and television of the past 30 years: The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks. Lynch lived in the neighborhood for a time in the mid-’60s, and the area sparked the first flames creative vision. The Loft District was formerly home to large-scale manufacturing and other industries, of which an architectural history has been left in the form of grand old abandoned factories, some of which have been converted to condos.
The neighborhood is physically cut-off from its neighbor to the south, Chinatown, by the Vine Street Expressway. The former Reading Railroad train trestle, the Reading Viaduct, is a defining feature of the Loft District neighborhood. Neighborhood groups have proposed that the abandoned structure be maintained as a public park, much like Manhattan’s High Line. Recently developers have started to employ adaptive reuse projects, converting many abandoned warehouses into loft-style housing.Converted factories and the Reading Railroad makes living here unlike any other neighborhood in central Philadelphia. The history of the Spring Arts neighborhood is rich in the industrial revolution. Mostly farmlands until the mid-19th century, it became the booming manufacturing center of the city. Now art is king and actually threads the community together. Spring Arts isn’t just a place where products are made, it’s a place where ideas are born.
Enjoy the blooming trees, friendly neighbors, and abundant parking - you’re home!