Philadelphia, PA / New Brunswick, N.J., – As an integral member of the Paschalville Library assessment and redesign team, DIGroup Architecture (DIGroup) recently participated in the ground-breaking for the $13.2 million reconstruction of this historic 1914-era building, a 11,000-SF community cornerstone on Woodland Avenue in Southwest Philly. The certified Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) firm, which has garnered numerous awards for its ability to merge historic preservation into modern designs, has been involved with the project since 2020.
“We are thrilled to continue our work on the Paschalville Library with the 70+ stakeholders with whom we worked on the assessment as well as the team at Rebuild Philadelphia,” said DIGroup’s Matt Funk, senior project architect, who spearheaded the building’s conditions assessment and will lead the Architect-of-Record assignment. “Projects like this enable DIGroup Architecture to do what we do best – deploy our talents to restore community gathering places as well as create modern spaces for shared resources and opportunities for growth among all ages.”
Opened to the public in 1915, the Paschalville Library’s reconstruction is part of Philadelphia’s Rebuild Program, a historic investment in public spaces across the city. While serving the Paschalville and Elmwood neighborhoods, the library also serves as a key resource for local students and workforce development. The building’s last renovations were completed in 1995, which is when internet service was brought to every city library branch.
Prior to the pandemic, DIGroup Architecture was tapped by Rebuild Philadelphia to complete a facility conditions assessment, which included a site and structure evaluation, health and life safety analysis, ADA/code compliance review, zoning analysis and historic designation review, along with initial programming studies and cost estimating services. The process, which included input from members of the surrounding Southwest Philadelphia community, prioritized the library’s needs and identified working budgets for a variety of scope bundle options.
Needs identified included:
- New elevator and staircase between floors
- New ADA bathrooms
- All new flooring, paint and furnishings
- Refurbishment of original stained-glass skylights
- New electric and plumbing, including lighting and fixtures
- New HVAC system
- New floor plan on both levels
- New “Media Hub” classroom on the upper level and “Flex Space” on the lower level
- Masonry restoration, new windows and new roof
- Updated lighting and security
DIGroup, which has an office in the Allegheny West section of North Philadelphia, is widely acknowledged for incorporating its axiom of “Architecture for Change” into each assignment.
The Paschalville Library marks the latest project for the firm in Philadelphia. DIGroup also is currently engaged in strategic planning for the 2.4MSF Budd Bioworks life sciences campus. At the former Budd Factory site, the DIGroup team has been tasked with creating a unified urban campus with an array of gathering spaces and state-of-the-art lab space with key functional requirements for a successful bio-cluster campus.