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The Paper Factory Lofts


Exemplifying continued urban renewal above Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods, the Paper Factory Lofts in Norris Square involved the adaptive reuse of an industrially zoned c.1885 former factory into 30 loft apartments in a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The building is listed on the Philadelphia and National Registers of Historic Places. Funded in part by Federal and State historic tax credits, the design juxtaposes clean, contemporary unit interiors with the rich character of exposed brick walls and original heavy timber framing. Salvaged industrial artifacts – a zinc-clad fire door, freight scale, and perforated ceiling panels – recall the building’s history and provide visual interest in common areas.

CBP Architects designed the building envelope restoration and reconfigured the interior for residential use. Shifting the position of a former freight elevator and stair shafts from valuable perimeter space to a new central core afforded more light-filled square footage for dwelling units. CBP also designed contemporary lobby seating and 3D floor level signage to complement retained and recreated historic details. The project required zoning variances and construction coordination around a working rooftop cellular antenna array. Although not officially transit-oriented development per the zoning code, the project facilitates a carless urban lifestyle due to its walkable location near public transit and the inclusion of secure indoor bicycle storage.

  • Project Category

    Market Rate Multifamily

  • Client

    Urban Conversions

  • Location

    Philadelphia, PA

  • Number of Units


  • Number of Stories


  • Gross Floor Area

    28,800 sf

  • Program

    Multifamily Adaptive Reuse