Wynne Senior Residences Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

K&A worked with Pennrose Properties, along with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, the Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC), and other key stakeholders in the redevelopment of the former Wynne Theater, located in the Wynnefield-Overbrook section of West Philadelphia. Originally opening its doors to the public in November 1927, this historic theater—with a Kimball organ, crystal chandeliers and 1,763 seats—hosted generations of movie-going Philadelphians to second-run movies and double features through the mid-1950s. Shutting down operation as a movie house in 1955, the Wynne saw a second life as a converted banquet hall and catering facility, providing a dynamic locus for continuing community activities and special events through the early 1990s—including bingo nights, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, concerts, special performances, even boxing matches were said to have been held at the old theater.

With the original structure of the theater having fallen into disrepair, the Wynne was finally demolished in 2016 with the intent of the design team and its partners to reestablish the theater’s previous architectural grandeur in the design of a new affordable apartment community for seniors. The new building offers a glimpse of the theater’s past as the articulation of the façade evokes hints of its former self, even including a replica of the 20-foot tall Wynne rooftop marquee—which at the time of the original theater’s demolition, was the last remaining rooftop sign on a movie theater in the city. Representing the culmination of more than a decade of effort by WORC to save this beloved neighborhood landmark, the successful redevelopment of Wynne Senior Residence provides 51 new affordable apartments for seniors, a community meeting space, and new ground floor retail, transforming this historic site once again into an important and vibrant asset to the Wynnefield-Overbrook community.

This project is an Enterprise Green Community, and represents one of the first Multifamily Passive House buildings to be built in the State of Pennsylvania.

Video of Project
A drone video of the completed Wynne Senior Residences courtesy of Intus Windows:

Photo Credits
©Don Pearse Photographers