You can dance if you want to. Or, you can just go ahead and gawk at the completely transformed space at 417 South Street, the former Pearl Arts & Crafts building. Now officially the Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia, Owners Lori Ramsay Long and Terry and Robert Ramsay have made good on their promise to restore and renovate the 39,000 square-foot building, fitting the 9,000 square foot ground floor with four dance studios (two with marley sprung flooring), and the basement with a gym and running track in time for its grand opening this past November. The space is a fusion of kitsch and class — in addition to the state-of-the-art dance studios, there's a rhinestone bedazzled leather bench in the front reception, and a digital fireplace burning beneath the television by the front windows. The second floor, which is slated to include a childcare facility for parents taking classes, is yet unfinished, but gives a hint of what the new space will look like, with floor-to-ceiling street art bursting out of the concrete walls.
"I want to bring life back into this iconic building," Lori Ramsay said in a press release. For her, the transformation of the space was an act of love, and of nostalgia. "The Pearl Arts & Crafts Building always has had a spot in my heart."
· Millennium Dance Complex to Transform South Street's Pearl [Curbed Philly]
· Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia [MDCPhilly.com]