Mission & History

Our Mission:

  • Creating a unique community that encourages and supports artistic production by both emerging and established artists.
  • Assisting the development and growth of Philadelphia’s creative resources, assets, and potential.
  • Creating a unique location for certain creativity-based businesses to thrive alongside the vibrant, Crane Arts community.
  • Providing unique space for the visual and performing arts to showcase events on a local, regional, and national scale.


Richard Hricko


Richard Hricko is an Professor of Art at Tyler School of Art of Temple University, where he has held various faculty and administrative positions including the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Graduate Program Director, and Chair of the Art and Art Education Department. He holds a BFA degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Art and Design, and a MFA degree from Tyler School of Art of Temple University. He has exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and juried competitions including the Glynn Vivian Art Museum in Swansea, Wales, the International Mezzotint Competition at the Pratt Graphics Center in NY, Garton and Cooke Gallery in London, England, and Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, D.C. His work is represented in many public and private, permanent collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, G.E. International Headquarters and The Delaware Art Museum. He is the recipient of a West Virginia Arts and Humanities Council Artist-in-Residence Grant, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, NEA/Mid-Atlantic Regional Fellowship, Brandywine Institute Visiting Artist Fellowship and several Temple University Research Grants.

Nicholas Kripal


Nicholas Kripal is Professor of Art and Chair of the Crafts Department, Tyler School of Art, of Temple University. He received his M.F.A. degree from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and his B.F.A. degree from the University of Nebraska, Kearney. His awards and grants include a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, 1999, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships 1987,1992,1997. He has been an artist-in-residence at the La Napoule Art Foundation, France, at Art Park, Lewiston, NY, and at the Watershed Center for Contemporary Ceramics, Maine. His work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions across the United States and in Mexico, 2003 and Australia, 2004. His most recent work has focused on site related installations, with an emphasis on the architectural iconography of sacred spaces. Group exhibitions include, Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Art at the Millennium, the Aldrich Museum, 2000, and Contemplations on the Spiritual: Site Projects, Glasgow, Scotland and Rome, Italy, 2001, Cologne, Germany, and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City, 2002. Since 1985 he has managed artist studio buildings in the East Falls and Roxborough areas of Philadelphia.

Crane Building History


The Crane Company Building was built in 1905 out of cast concrete faced with brick in the Kensington warehouse and manufacturing area just north of Girard Avenue. It was designed by Philadelphia architect Walter Ballinger, an early innovator of concrete building techniques. The long wedge-shaped building was used as a plumbing warehouse, and had an adjacent three-story stable for delivery vehicles and draft horses. It was later used to process frozen seafood. The enormous concrete-block, first-floor addition which functioned as a walk-in freezer now serves as the Ice Box Project Space.

Ballinger & Perrot (fl. 1901-1920)

The architecture and engineering firm of Ballinger & Perrot was established in 1901 by Walter F. Ballinger and Emile G. Perrot. It succeeded the firms of Geissinger & Hales and Hales & Ballinger and was succeeded by the Ballinger Co. which began in 1920 after Walter F. Ballinger bought out the interests of his partner Emile G. Perrot. Ballinger & Perrot built upon the industrial building interests of the earlier firms but also expanded into workers housing, especially that associated with company or federal housing operations. Chief among these works was the village constructed for the American Viscose Company in Marcus Hook, PA. However, the partners were not limited to industrial building, but instead completed churches, schools, and commercial structures and pioneered in the use of reinforced concrete. During World War I Ballinger & Perrot also maintained a 125-person office in New York, supervised by Carl deMoll.– Written by Sandra L. Tatman.


Walter Ballinger
Born: 8/13/1867, Died: 12/21/1924

Co-inventor of the “super-span sawtooth” type of roof construction, Walter F. Ballinger was born in Petroleum Center, Venango Co., PA, where his father, Jacob Howe Ballinger, operated a machine shop until his death in 1869. Ballinger’s mother, Sarah Wolfenden Ballinger, then moved the family to Woodstown, NJ, where they resided for 12 years. By age 13 Walter Ballinger was employed on a local farm. Later he worked in a factory where his abilities were noted and promotions forthcoming. While he worked during the day, the industrious young Ballinger attended a number of classes in the evenings at the local grammar school, the YMCA, and Drexel Institute until he could enroll fulltime in a business school. In 1889 Ballinger entered the prosperous Philadelphia architectural and engineering firm of Geissinger & Hales, where he was at first employed in a variety of business roles, including bookkeeper, stenographer, and clerk. By 1895 he had established something of an independent partnership with another member of the firm, William B. Brinkworth, but the new partners maintained their office at the same address as Geissinger & Hales. The connection to Brinkworth must have been brief, however, because in 1895 Ballinger replaced Geissinger as a named principal in the older firm; and this successor firm, Hales & Ballinger, operated until Edward M. Hales retired in July, 1901. At that time the chief draftsman Emile G. Perrot became a partner, and the firm continued in 1902 under the name Ballinger & Perrot. In 1920 Ballinger bought out the interests of his partner and revised the name to the Ballinger Co., a name which continues in Philadelphia today..– Written by Sandra L. Tatman.


The love and care that went into this project is evident in the following before and after shots. Attention to detail and a passion for creatively preserving the historic character of the building was very important to the entire renovation of the Crane Arts grounds. Do you have any pictures (especially 20th century) of the Crane building that you would like to share with us? Send us an email because we would love to see them.