Historic Fabric Row, the often overlooked step-child of South Street, is finally getting its time in the spotlight. This week the initial conceptual design for Streetscape and Facade Improvement of Fabric Row is being rolled out to the residents and business owners along 4th Street.
The conceptual design was prepared by the Community Design Collaborative — an organization with their hands in all kinds of redevelopment projects, from the proposed redesign of Columbus Square Park to the greening of the Southwark schoolyard — and brought together architects, landscape architects, lighting designers and historic preservationists to make recommendations on improving the street.
After a period of decline, Fabric Row has had an influx of new boutiques, spas, coffee shops and stores popping up in between the longstanding fabric stores. A new neighborhood personality and vibe is emerging, but the street environment hasn’t matched its evolution.
Michael Harris, executive director of the South Street Headhouse District, knew it was time to focus on this diamond-in-the rough neighborhood, as new and long-term retailers and residents of the street have been calling for action.
Harris was able to partner with the Collaborative to formulate a conceptual design that includes plans for better lighting, the addition of park benches, trees, trash cans, street art, planters and cosmetic improvements to building facades. The goal is to make the street more welcoming for pedestrians, while nodding to its historic and vibrant past.
In the next few months, Harris will be working directly with business owners and residents, the city, and the design team to secure funding and get the ball rolling on implementing plan.
– Martha Rich, martharich.com