Reimagining 8th and Berks

8th and Berks StreetsWhat happens when you put lots of different brains in one room for a day to consider a challenging but promising parcel of vacant land in Eastern North Philadelphia? The Asociación Puertorriqueos en Marcha for Everyone (APM), LISC Philadelphia, and City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development, AIA Philadelphia, and the Community Design Collaborative are hosting a design charrette—a brainstorming session to engage designers, community leaders, and public agencies, and the public is invited to join them for a public reveal on Friday, November 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. while their sketches and ideas are still fresh. The event will take place at the Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St. 

There will also be a panel featuring:

  • Brian Abernathy, Interim Executive Director, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
  • Modesto Bigas-Valedon, AIA, Senior Associate, Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC
  • Beverly Coleman, Assistant Vice President for Community Relations & Economic Development, Temple University
  • Nancy Goldenberg, Chief of Staff, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • Luis Mora, Executive Director, Finanta
  • Patrick Morgan, Chief of Staff, City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
  • Manny Citron, Assistant Managing Director, City of Philadelphia Managing Director's Office
  • Nilda Ruiz, President & CEO, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha for Everyone
  • Llewellyn Wells, President and Founder, Living City Block
  • Melissa Long, Deputy Director, Philadelphia Office of Housing & Community Development, Moderator


The focus of the design charrette is a 1.8-acre, city-owned vacant parcel at 8th and Berks, a stone’s throw from Temple University Station and at the cusp of Temple University and the APM neighborhood.

 “Given the current campaign to create a land bank for Philadelphia, the design charrette and public reveal are very timely,” says Beth Miller, Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative. “Friday’s reveal will give you a closer look at some of the early thinking that goes into the reuse of vacant land.”

Asociación Puertorriqueos en Marcha for Everyone (APM), LISC Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development have worked together for over twenty years to transform the APM community in Eastern North Philadelphia from one of blight to one of choice. Their partnership is continuing with APM’s Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) for Eastern North Philadelphia.

SCI-Eastern North Philadelphia promises to extend APM’s efforts to offer a sustainable lifestyle to everyone with an imaginative, inclusive, and unapologetically urban brand of community development, as reflected in recent projects like Paseo Verde and Sheridan Street Housing.

The cost is $10 ($5 for students), and reservations are required.