The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 12, 2005

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Paul Marotta
Occupation: Director of communications for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Neighborhood: Chinatown.
Style: 1,100-square-foot loft apartment.

City apartments come in all shapes and sizes. Paul Marotta's seventh-floor apartment in a converted factory in Chinatown falls into the huge category. The two-bedroom, two-bath loft unit features hardwood floors, a steel staircase, a modern kitchen, a laundry room and a surprising amount of cleverly hidden storage space. It's more than enough room for Marotta and his 15-year-old son, who spends weekends in a magical bedroom full of model trains and cars.


You rent, but do people also own units here?
"Yes, though I'm not sure what the ratio of renters to owners is."

Do you walk to work at the Kimmel Center?
"I do. It's five minutes. Before, I was working at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. I lived in New Jersey and I had to take a bus through the Lincoln Tunnel and then a subway uptown. This commute is a dream."

What came with your unit, and what have you done?
"The only thing that came with the place was the stainless steel island in the kitchen and of course the appliances. Everything else is mine-like the little colored stools I have around the island."

They're great.
"I got them on Overstock.com. I couldn't believe the price of stools when I was looking around, but these were only $70 or $80, and designer places I went wanted $500 for a single stool."

What made you choose Chinatown?
"I initially moved here with my girlfriend. She was still working in New York, so we needed to be convenient to the train and close to the Kimmel Center. This spot was perfect because you can walk to both. We also looked at some places around 30th Street Station, but they were more expensive, less contemporary, and they didn't offer the same amount of space. My son stays with me on the weekends, so I really needed the space."

This place is huge, and it feels even bigger with the high ceilings and large window looking out over the Convention Center.
"It's a great view-especially at sunset. At first, though, I was a little nervous about being so close to the Convention Center because of all the people on the street. I was worried about the noise. Because of that and also the view, I wanted to be as high in the building as possible. We looked at a corner space on the second floor, but that was too close to the street. Also there were too many windows and not enough wall space there. Here I have a big window but also plenty of wall space for my photos. And I like the angles in the space. It does, however, make it a little difficult when deciding where to situate the furniture."

The rug in the living room is beautiful.
"I got that in Nepal. It was made by a group of Tibetans in a small carpet factory. I got a great price on it, and I knew there was no child labor involved."

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (jrobb@philadelphiaweekly.com) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.

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