Artist Transformed South Philly Building Into Incredible Art Space

You know him from his stunning Magic Gardens on South Street, but now you’ll know him for the two-story Watkins Street building that he’s made his personal art project for last eight years.

Of course, whether you or I will get to see Isaiah Zagar’s 10,00-square-foot work in person is a whole other story. From NewsWorks:

About 80 people who bought tickets to a dinner party this week explored the artspace while eating barbacoa, a Mexican-style barbecue by a proprietor of a local food truck. Afterwads the space closed again. Zagar has no immediate plans to make it a public space.

Mosaic master Isaiah Zagar offers small taste of latest art space (photos) [NewsWorks]

Townhouse on the Sexiest Street in Town Glitters With Zagar Mosaics

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sexiestThe idea of South Street being “sexy” was a PR campaign launched in 1999 referring to the street’s more adventurous stores — those with stripper shoes or sex toys or condoms or lingerie. But there was a time — when Whyte’s Court was first built — when the moniker would have meant something different. The first writeup of the gated courtyard community at 12th and South ran in the Inquirer in 1991, and described a South Street we’d have a hard time recognizing today: “South Street, with its tattoo parlors and fine-art galleries, fast food and fine dining, is a street of eclectic tastes, so it’s no surprise to find an eclectic collection of dwellings at Whyte’s Court…”

At the time, the townhomes ranged from $79,900 to $139,000. The condominium fee was in the area of $60 per month. This two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot unit costs $310,000, and the fees are only $30 per month. Finally! A price that’s gone down!

But back to sexy. The exterior of the community, which is just two blocks west of Magic Gardens, has a mosaic mural by Isaiah Zagar. Above the entranceway, he has placed tiles that say, “THE SEXIEST STREET.” That — and the mosaic detailing on the floor inside, done by a prior owner — should be good for a smile every time the new owner walks in the door.

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