Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth…
—T.S. Eliot from the Four Quartets, East Coker
We’ve done it! We’ve completely cleared out of our olde building, The Atlas Casket Factory, our home for the last 5 years and into our new space – The Foundlings Building! We’ve hauled every last tool, big and small, and every last maker into our new space – our open, air flowing, beautifully bright new home with parking and sunshine and in Port Richmond, Philadelphia. And it has all happened in less than a year!
Walter, Joe, Chris and Josh, as well as a handful of others, have been transforming the space over the last 9 months and still, we’ve all managed to make and design and send most* orders out without delay. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderfully talented, efficient and productive team as well as our supportive following – you! Our new space will no doubt be an inspiring place to create more treasures, photographs, jobs, and joyful days. And in time – a garden!
In addition to the building and the land, there is an elevated train track that borders one side of the property and the wall has already become the most fantastic backdrop for our new photographs.
We named the building Foundlings, as it is my hope to discover much about this tiny piece of land, both through the locals’ stories, and hopefully (look for me with a metal detector or a privy stick!) underground. Our acre was carved out in the early 1800s, as evidenced by some old maps (PhilaGeoHistories). There were homes built upon it and torn down, and sometime between 1934 and 1942, our building was erected as the new home of The Phoenix Dye Works. In the 1980s it was closed up (maybe even before), and in it grew a darkness, loaded with stuff and years of stories. When Walter tore through the ceiling to put in skylights, the dirt and dust came alive, dancing in a beam of sunlight eager to discover new territories.
It is 2017, and at Peg and Awl, we are ready to begin building our new stories...