Philly Block Project

The Maas Building

Like many of Kensington’s notable pieces of architecture, the beautiful Maas Building has apparent, industrial roots.

Located in Kensington at 1325 N. Randolph Street, between Fifth and Sixth, Master and Thompson Streets, this 1859 brick and heavy wood timber building is named after brewer Charles Maas who operated a brewery there. In later years, it was used as a repair shop for Girard Avenue trolleys. (Via Hidden City Philadelphia.)

In 2008, the building had fallen into disrepair and was in use as storage for an architectural salvage business. A giant hole in the roof had caused a lot of water damage and one of the main trusses had failed. The original facade was boarded up.

Catherine Birdsall and Ben Reisman bought the building in 2008 and began to nurse it back to life. A structural engineer was brought in to fix the broken truss, a new roof was put on, and gradually the Maas Building began to awaken. Using reclaimed wood and industrial materials, the Maas Building’s rehab was designed to incorporate modern ideas into the existing industrial structure: the facade is a combination of old arched windows and modern glass and steel design; the floors are polished concrete outfitted with radiant heat tubing; and a common entryway and kitchen area have soaring ceilings that expose the building’s industrial past.

Today, the Maas Building is in use as an arts space, cultural entity and event hall for many types of arts activities. For more info, visit The Maas Building website.

(Photo via Plan Philly.)