The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 18, 2006

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Tommy Up
Occupation: Co-owner of PaperStreet Marketing and Design.
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties.
Style: 925-square-foot loft apartment.

Northern Liberties continues to be a neighborhood under construction. Just off Girard Avenue sits what was once the old Boone School, and inside it appears little has changed since the days when students roamed the hallways. In fact, in Tommy Up's extremely open loft apartment, his bed sits on what appears to have once been the stage of the school auditorium.

How long have you lived here?
"About two months."

This was once a school?
"I think it was a reform school, actually, or some kind of special school."

Where did you live before?
"I was nearby, over at Liberties Walk. I was over there for a year in a two-bedroom. But I was looking for something that was more open. I heard this place was going to open soon and that the floor plans were more what I was looking for."

So you were looking to stay in the neighborhood?
"Oh yeah, definitely. I like all the stuff there is to do around here."

You have huge windows.
"I think that makes it feel even more open. They also give me a great view of the El. It gives the place a real urban feel."

Is this place bigger than your last one in terms of square feet?
"Not much. It's more about how it's laid out. The other apartment was a living room and then two separate bedrooms. Here the kitchen flows directly into the living room, and the bedroom overlooks the living room. There aren't any full walls between any of the rooms except for the bathroom, and I like that feel."

Besides being open, what else do you like about the place?
"I love the tall ceilings, and I also like the arch over the bedroom and the way it frames that part of the apartment."

Do you live alone?

Do you work nearby?
"My job is right around the corner, so it's really convenient."

Did you buy new furniture when you moved here?
"Not really. I just brought stuff from my old place. I'm trying to decide where to put everything. I've rearranged it, like, three times, and I'm still trying to decide on what colors I want the different walls to be."

You must get a ton of light in here with the windows.
"I do. It's nice and bright, and keeps the place warm in the winter."

Do you park on the street?
"No. They have a lot around back."

You have stairs leading to your bedroom from each side of the living room.
"Yeah, it's fun. I can chase people around."

Where do you do your laundry?
"There's a laundry room just down the hall, which I kind of like. Before, I've always been able to do laundry in my apartment, but this way you have a chance to actually meet the other people in the building as opposed to just being shut away and never getting to know anyone."

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb ( with your name, neighborhood and contact info.

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The Space

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