For those not in the know, PhilaMOCA was shut down by the city back in September 2019 with a change in zoning required to reopen. In January of this year we were granted the special exception for the new zoning and last month we cleared all of the code issues that accompanied the change. Throughout that long process we invested tens of thousands of dollars upgrading the room, mainly related to fire and safety matters, including fireproof curtains, fire-rated doors, additional egress signs and smoke detectors, and shunt trip safety switches (shuts off the PA and amps when the fire alarm goes off). We also soundproofed the entryway and 12th Street wall for the benefit of our neighbors.
All of these upgrades wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support of the public who have generously donated to our GoFundMe for the past year. We’ve been able to survive the pandemic with no income thanks to an EIDL loan, proceeds from Vans’ Foot the Bill program, and merchandise sales including t-shirts and posters. We’re almost ready for our final CO inspection, but have been waiting over a month now for the final piece of paperwork from the city. There’s no time estimate on when that will arrive, and due to pandemic restrictions we wouldn’t be able to reopen this year anyway, which is why we’re now turning back to the public to raise funds to cover rent and utilities while we wait things out.
Bob Bruhin is a web developer, tour guide, art photographer, author, blogger, and graphic designer. His love of urban landscapes, especially in post-industrial Philadelphia, PA, leads him to document some of the darker corners of his city.