The Metropolitan at 117 N. 15th Street has a rich and storied history. Completed in 1929, it once formed part of the original YMCA in Philadelphia. During the Second World War it housed men passing through the city to and from deployments. The building also played host to many USO events during this time including dances, holiday dinners, and ping pong tournaments. Unfortunately, the building fell into disrepair like so many others in the '60s and '70s. In the 1980s, with redevelopment sweeping the city, the Art Deco building was purchased and converted into luxury apartments. Originally, the basketball court and surrounding rooms on the second and third floor were slated to be removed and converted into apartments as well. Luckily, they were boarded up instead and preserved until the owners were ready to restore them to their former glory.
Nicole Elizabeth INTRS worked with ownership to put the finishing touches on both the historic basketball court and the adjoining modern fitness center. For the basketball court the original details were paired with vintage-inspired banners showcasing all the buildings in Reinhold Residential's portfolio. The court was painted with The Metropolitan's logo in a 1920's inspired font that is seen throughout the building's signage and marketing materials. Nicole Elizabeth INTRS also headed to the Philadelphia archives and found photos from World War II showing the original gym in use. The photos were blown-up and hung in the hallways that surround the court. The modern fitness center boasts state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment accented with a large wall mural of the Philadelphia skyline. The photo for the mural was taken on the roof deck of the building and was printed on a mylar wall covering so the light reflects off the building windows as it would if you were really outside.
Photos: Laura Kicey Photography