Philly Block Project

Ben Riesman and Catherine Birdsall Give New Life to the Maas Building

For six years, Ben Riesman and Catherine Birdsall poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the Maas Building.

In 2008, the couple bought the structure, which has once operated as the Charles Maas Brewery. The property was in decay, just waiting for a team like Ben and Catherine to come along. As the complex renovation began, the fastidious couple moved in the the building- a challenging task that they’ve compared to living in a junkyard. Putting everything they had into the project, however, they transformed the space into a vibrant arts and cultural center.

“The building was in really bad shape, and it was really crazy, but it really sparked our imaginations and all we saw was the possibilities,” said Birdsall. “We thought it was beautiful. Our parents thought we were crazy, but we thought it was beautiful.”

Read more about this incredible couple from Philadelphia Neighborhoods.