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Building Blocks For a Social Community at West Lofts

Updated: May 10, 2021

In the process of creating the West Lofts out of the original West Philadelphia High School we reached out to the alumni association of West Philly High (or "West" as it was known).

We quickly learned it was a special place and an excellent basis for building a social living environment. Something unique that would be different from most apartment communities in Philadelphia. We took full advantage of the large scale of the building to create expansive amenities - our lobby, once a heating chamber for the auditorium - is designed to feel like a boutique hotel lobby, a place where a resident can come to work alone or with friends, study, shoot pool or watch a movie.

For many alumni like Andy Kevorkian from the class of 1945, the West Philadelphia High School was more than just a learning institution. It was the centerpiece to a community of active participants, innovators, artists, musicians, athletes and scholars. Built in 1911, the school was the first public high school west of the Schuylkill River. It was also one of the first

buildings constructed by the School District.

The Legendary Speed Boys!

These schools used state of the art

engineering systems and design details

that were replicated in schools

throughout the area during a prolific

period of construction. The details and material quality could never be replicated today - at any cost.

The alumni has a long history of professional athletes, actors, jazz musicians, judges, city officials and, of course, the legendary Speed Boys basket ball stars through the years,

"There was just something about this school and the people. It was a good mix, good sports, good teachers, we had good everything.” Andy Kevorkian, Class of 1945

West Philadelphia High School under construction in 1911

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