Golden sledgehammers were the tool of choice for the groundbreaking of Wynne Senior Residences this week.
The redevelopment of the site of the former Wynne Theater/Wynne Ballroom (which hosted generations of movie viewing, bingo, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, concerts, boxing, and family gatherings) will bring 51 new affordable apartments for seniors, community meeting space, and retail space to the Wynnefield neighborhood in West Philadelphia.
Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC) has been working for the better part of a decade to address this beloved but crumbling neighborhood landmark. A feasibility study by the Community Design Collaborative was a critical step in their efforts to turn the Wynne into a community asset again.
In 2009, WORC came to the Collaborative for a feasibility study for the theater site. WORC wanted to explore two scenarios for redeveloping the Wynne site: as a community center or as a mix of retail and rental housing. Our feasibility study also looked at how the once-elegant entrance could be integrated with new construction. Our mixed-use scheme provided a winning template for redevelopment.
WORC subsequently approached the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to acquire and market the site for redevelopment. Wynne Senior Residences, developed by Pennrose Properties and designed by Kitchen & Associates, will build new housing on the footprint of the theater hall and replace the deteriorated entrance in kind. Best of all, the Wynne’s iconic metal truss sign will be salvaged and re-installed.
See our project profile for images from our feasibilty study and info about this Design Grant's location, donated services, and volunteer team.