What happens to industrial sites in de-industrialized cities?
Art Business

What happens to industrial sites in de-industrialized cities?

Shutterstock Situated just north of Philadelphia’s central business district along the banks of the Delaware River, an old manufacturing area called Northern Liberties is booming — again. But this time, it is not the factory whistles blowing from the nearby J.E. Lonergan Company (steam valves and other locomotive parts and lubricants), the American Can Company (yes, tin cans) or the Rohm & Haas Company (synthetic chemicals and dyes) that draw workers and their families to the area. Today instead bistros and gastropubs, art galleries and boutique shops linked by a newly developed walking mall and public plaza attract a very different — significantly wealthier and comparably whiter — group of residents to "Nolibs." A two-acre community-developed garden space and children’s playground dubbed "Liberty Lands" sits atop a reclaimed Superfund site once occupied by the Burk Brothers Tannery. Described by local boosters as "a hotbed of enviro-friendly construction" designed to complement "ambitious mixed-use complexes that reimagined overlooked industrial bones," the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood is trading heavily and, it seems successfully, on its industrial past. Present-day industry, by contrast, is virtually nonexistent in Northern Liberties and the adjoining riverfront area just to its south. Only six manufacturing facilities were operating there […]

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