Environmental Pathways to Early Childhood Education
This project proposes the adaptive reuse of a city-owned industrial property on the Delaware River in Southwest Philadelphia as the site for a dynamic partnership between Bartram's Garden and the Woodland Academy Child Development Center. Bartram's Garden, directly adjacent, is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America. Woodland Academy, a thriving neighborhood early learning and after-school center, will expand its facility to serve 200 children and join with Bartram's Garden to introduce a curriculum that promotes environmental awareness in a new facility.
Brawer & Hauptman explored the site's potential and proposed the reuse of the main warehouse structure as the new home for the Academy. A second structure would be repurposed as a covered outdoor venue for a farmer's market or concert event; and the third structure would be demolished to make way for an outdoor plaza, parking and drop-off area, and an outdoor amphitheater facing the river.
The city has completed construction on an extension of the walking and biking trail that connects the existing Schuylkill Banks park to Bartram's Garden, running directly adjacent to this site, making this project a key component of a major recreational vision for Philadelphia