Located at the southernmost end of Broad Street, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard was decommissioned in the late 1990s, leaving industrial artifacts such as cranes, cast-iron columns and graffiti abandoned and untouched for almost a decade. While others may not have seen the potential for worn down hangers and workshops to become a corporate campus, we did. Beginning in May 2004, we refurbished the Navy’s war-making factories into a fresh, creative community using the same mentality we have when designing our stores - turning something old into something new and creating a unique, engaging environment.
During the two year transformation process, we scraped away loose and peeling paint, salvaged rugged timbers and turned them into staircases, and went as far as sandblasting steel beams to allow it to rust. We uncovered spectacular details inside, like a cast iron column in Building 7 that dated back to 1889, or stars and stripes that were painted on sliding doors in Building 543 by Navy workers. What would later be referred to as “The Barney Rubble Story,” concrete was cracked and uprooted to make large slabs that would be used as walkway paving between trees. And impressively, a reclaimed decompression chamber used by divers repairing hulls of ships was placed between two of our buildings.
In September of 2006, our employees moved from 80,000 square feet in five different buildings to 280,000 square feet in a campus setting. Each building houses a different brand, and is furnished with brand-specific décor that changes as the brand evolves. Today, designers, buyers, patternmakers, illustrators, innovators and many other employees collaborate and work in an incredible, historic Navy Yard campus.