Infinite Gets a Facelift
If you've visited us recently, you've probably noticed the exposed brick and plastic wrap covering the façade. After twenty years at this location, the exterior of Infinite Body Piercing's studio is getting a facelift! Infinite was established and incorporated in 1994. In January 1995 we signed the lease at our current location, and after a whirlwind, three-week "build-out" we opened for business on February 1, 1995. We moved into a building that has a long history. Built around the turn of the last century, our location was a grocery store during the '30s and was part of the Jewish garment district until the 1950s. In the '80s it was a hot tub store, and before we moved in it was occupied by one the first condom specialty stores in the US, Condom Nation.
We were on a tight budget when we started. While we put a lot of work into the interior of the building–the piercing rooms, putting in sinks, etc.—the outside of the store got minimal treatment. Condom Nation's original pink-and-teal color scheme was painted '90s black, and the existing sign was simply given a new cover. While the sign itself has been updated several times throughout the years, but the front of the building looks much like it looked when we first opened our doors over 20 years ago. Over those 20 years, Fourth Street (also known as Fabric Row, because of the long history of fabric stores lining the street), has gone through a lot of changes. While in the past it was said that the stretch of Fourth Street between South and Bainbridge was a drunken sailor's heaven, today this often overlooked step-child of South Street, Fabric Row is finally getting its time in the spotlight. Today it is home to a slew of new businesses, a huge streetscape improvement project has already been started, and we'll be seeing new lighting lining the street before the year's end. Fourth Friday events are getting more popular every month, and Fourth Street is now being described as Philly's next hot street.
Several Philadelphia organizations are working to make Fourth Street even more vital. Over the last year, we've been working with South Street Headhouse District, the Philadelphia Commerce Department, and the Philadelphia Historical Commission to take advantage of the City's amazing storefront revitalization grant. This grant is being offered to "preserve and enhance the historic and architectural integrity of buildings" that are "within eligible neighborhood commercial corridors." Philadelphia has committed to helping to preserve the history of the street and is helping local businesses make improvements to the public face of their buildings.
Our work is being done by Pennsylvania Stoneworks. These are the same people that did the amazing facelift for Noise Pollution and Eddie's Tattoo, both located right across the street from us. (If you want a preview of what Infinite's new façade is going to look like, check out what Noise Pollution looks like now, or check out the accompanying sketch.) Currently, our project has just completed phase one: the removal of the existing façade. The next step is to have the Philadelphia Historical Commission out to assess the state of the building underneath what we've removed. We then need to get final approval that our plans meet the criteria the City has set forth for the grant. Within the coming month or two, get ready to see the face of the new-and-improved Infinite! Nobody is more excited than we are to see how it turns out. In the meantime, you can check out a full photoset of the recent construction here.