The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is a finalist for the 4th Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia (ULI Philadelphia), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities. Other finalists include Bartram’s Mile, La Colombe: Fishtown, and Sixers Practice Facility and Home Office Building. Find a full list of finalists here.

The Awards for Excellence, modeled after the ULI Global Awards for Excellence, will recognize superior development projects in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware that embody the ULI mission. Criteria for the awards include factors beyond innovation in planning and design, including adaptability to other communities, sustainability, economic success, overall community health and social impact to address neighborhood revitalization goals

The 14 selected finalists represent a wide variety of project types, including adaptive reuse, commercial, residential, institutional, mixed use open spaces. A national panel of jurors, including leaders in real estate, land use and development from across the country, were tasked with selecting the highest quality projects.

“Our jury of national experts was extremely impressed with the quality and innovation of the diverse projects submitted for consideration,” said Tony Greenberg, Chair of the National Jury, ULI Washington Member and Principal at JBG Companies in Washington DC.

In September 2015, the Waldorf School of Philadelphia opened its doors for the very first time at its permanent new home at 6000 Wayne Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

The school had outgrown its old home and required more space in order to fulfill growing interest and investment in Waldorf Education throughout the Philadelphia region.

The historical former Gothic stone church, designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt, languished vacant for more than ten years until the property’s potential to be repurposed as the future home of the Waldorf School of Philadelphia was recognized. What followed was a three-year partnership with Philly Office Retail to restore the property and culminated in the moment when the doors opened. Today we welcome over 250 students from 2 years of age to 8th grade.

The Waldorf School project was accomplished in a historically significant manner. 

By saving a Frank Furness-designed group of buildings, the fabric of our Germantown community will remain intact for years to come.  The 140-year-old church and attendant buildings have been on the Register of Historic Places since 1985 and on Preservation Alliance’s Most Endangered List, yet they laid vacant since 2005 and were significantly deteriorated. It has been estimated that if they were not improved for two additional years, two of the four buildings would likely have collapsed due to the condition of the roofs and exterior walls.

Renovating, rather than building new, helped save a treasured Germantown property while also reducing the amount of new raw materials being used.  With so many historic properties in the City, this project serves as a model of historic preservation adaptive reuse and a catalyst for reinvestment that has jumpstarted Germantown by establishing our community as a great place to live, work, enjoy and invest.  Already, investment in the immediate surrounding neighborhood has led to new restaurants and other retail establishments to serve the relocated student, parent and staff populations.

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is proud to be recognized as a finalist for the 4th Annual Willard G. Bill Rouse III Awards for Excellence.  Winners will be announced at a cocktail reception on June 14th.