Watershed Partnership Joins Creative Community at Globe Dye Works

From the top of Globe Dye Works building, looking out over Frankford, also known as part of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed. Photo courtesy of Hidden City

“TTF has moved to the Globe Dye Works to be closer to Tacony Creek Park, the focus of much of our watershed outreach, education and restoration work in partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.”

- Julie Slavet, Executive Director, TTF

It's official, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Inc. or TTF has moved its office location to Globe Dye Works (GDW), joining the expansive community of businesses, entrepreneurs, artisans, and artists setting up shop in the converted factory building. Located seven miles from City Hall in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, GDW opened its doors back in 1865, running a yarn dyeing and winding business for nearly one hundred years. The factory enjoyed close proximity to the Tacony Creek over these years, with free-flowing water that fed its yarn dying process. When the original GDW closed its doors in 2005, The Globe Development Group had the insight to redesign, repurpose, and reopen the 30,000 + sq. ft. factory space to meet the needs of emerging industry and creativity.

Following the renovation and reopening of GDW, the factory’s proximity to Tacony Creek has led to Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Inc. (TTF) choosing the site as their new office location. As a member of GDW’s growing community, TTF is enjoying the benefits of working amongst artists, artisans and fabricators. And in return, the nonprofit is bringing a warmly welcomed component of environmental stewardship to the GDW community. But TTF is not the only party thinking with sustainability in mind. Julie Slavet, TTF’s Executive Director, explains;

It's exciting to be in such a creative and diverse community, hosted by owners whose commitment to sustainability has led to green water stormwater infrastructure initiatives and the rennovation of a facility with historical connection to our creek! The Globe Development Group was just awarded a Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) grant by PWD to capture stormwater from roofs into existing tanks and cisterns, harvesting this water for irrigation and gray water usage.”   

Like all processes related to watersheds and watershed management, the relationship between TTF and GDW appears to be coming full-circle. Pete Kelly, co-founders behind Globe Dye Works is excited to welcome such a prominent, local environmental organization to the GDW. Kelly recognizes that sustainability might not be GDW’s central intention but through the choices of Global Development Group’s collective investment, the innovative factory space “can sometimes add to the social and environmental efforts that organizations like TTF dedicate themselves to.”

For now, Julie Slavet and the rest of the TTF staff are settling in nicely, dedicating themselves to their on-going mission of restoring and maintaining the health and vitality of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek and its watershed. But with the freshness of new paint and tenants in the air, Slavet is definitely looking forward to the coming months at GDW -- she is already excited to host the Open House at the Globe Dye Works in September. This event will allow the factory’s artisans, boat builders, caterers, bakers, brewers, and manufacturers to meet and greet the growing community of independent makers and environmental caretakers working out of Globe Dye Works.

Visit Globe Dye Works, and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership online for more information.

Andrew Schlesinger is an innovative environmental thinker and designer. He can be reached at andrewpschlesinger@gmail.com