Grungy auto shop takes a polish well in S. Kensington

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer


June 11, 2017


Just murmur the words industrial living to any urbanite, and his eyes light up.

So when Matt Yaple found out that a grungy automotive shop-turned-hip family home in gentrifying South Kensington was for sale, he jumped on it and moved there in July 2015.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect place,” says Yaple, 66, a longtime Philadelphia resident, who wanted a domestic landscape that would double as a “rehearsal hall” for the band he started after retiring as a production manager five years ago.

The previous owners, who were artists, had transformed the cavernous garage into a modern home without eliminating many of the raw elements that make such urban projects so sought after to begin with. Wow features include brick walls; a wood-burning stove; radiant-heat cement floors; a wall of steel windows; a courtyard with concrete benches; and a series of upper spaces that overlook the mostly ground-floor rectangle.

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