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Wait a Minute. Is Pearl Arts & Crafts Empty Again?

Photos via Megan Ritchie Jooste
Photos via Megan Ritchie Jooste

It looks like Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia, the state-of-the-art dance studio that promised to transform the long-empty Pearl Arts & Crafts store on South Street, may have (hopefully temporarily) abandoned its South Street location. After its grand opening in November 2014, owners Lori Ramsay Long and Terry and Robert Ramsay expressed optimism in the power of dance (and the pull of an internationally-renown franchise) to "bring life back into this iconic building." But these days the windows are dark, and recent tweets suggest that classes are now being held in a studio in New Jersey.

The restoration and renovation of the 39,000 square-foot Pearl Arts & Crafts building began last year, when the new owners fit 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, the owners planned to take down the iconic PEARL signage (sob!) and place a letter at the entrance of each of the first-floor dance studios.

In a second phase of development, the second floor was slated to include a childcare facility for parents taking classes, and the third floor was to boast floor-to-ceiling Philly inspired street art. There was even meant to be a 5,000 open air space on the roof.

According to Millennium Dance Complex's Instagram account, classes are being held fifteen minutes away in a dance studio in New Jersey "until New Facility is ready."

Curbed has reached out to the dance complex for comment regarding how long the company plans to be out of its South Street location. In the meantime, let's look at how freaking amazing the dance complex looked when it opened late last year.

· New Millennium Dance Complex is Work of Art/Work in Progress [Curbed Philly]