New Exhibit on Philadelphia’s Rowhouses Opens Today

Rowhouse Workshop, a new exhibit that tells the stories of four different rowhouse blocks in Philadelphia, opens today at the Cherry Street Pier.

The exhibit is curated by Interface Studio Architects and is supported by a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Initially, ISA planned to focus the exhibit on rowhouse architecture and how the houses interacted with the street. As the team continued to conduct research, including holding community dinners to meet neighbors, the social history of the homes’ residents emerged as the new focus. Residents’ stories revealed the unique personalities of each of these blocks, as well as their sense of pride and community. The exhibit provides a snapshot of these people who shape their blocks in North, South, and West Philadelphia.

The stories of each block are told through multimedia totems built in partnership with Tiny WPA, a community group that engages Philadelphians in designing their city. The totems include both physical and digital objects, including songs, recipes, and photographs. Visitors are also invited to tell the stories of their blocks and suggest locations for future research through a self-directed rowhouse workshop.

The opening reception for Rowhouse Workshop is tonight from 5pm to 8pm and is free to the public.