WXPN is not going west, young man.
With a shiny new home in the works on Walnut Street between 30th and 31st streets, WXPN is moving east.
The renovated facility at 3025 Walnut St. -- the historic Hajoca building -- will house the radio station's studio as well as a concert space called World Cafe Live.
The renovation to the 40,000 square foot Hajoca building is costing $15 million and was designed jointly by DAS Architects, Bower Lewis Thrower Architects and Meyer Associates.
Although they will be sharing the same building, World Cafe Live and WXPN will be run by different entities. WXPN will continue its listener-supported operations under the aegis of the University, while World Cafe Live will be run by Real Entertainment Group, founded in 2001 by local entrepreneur Hal Real.
The new facility will allow WXPN to run its operations from a centralized location. It will also allow the station to host any size music act for live performances.
"This will be the nicest acoustic venue in town," WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay told The Daily Pennsylvanian this spring. "It's like a miniature Kimmel Center."
The facility will be a marked step up for WXPN, which for years has broadcast from its current home at 3905 Spruce St. while being run by administrators at 4025 Chestnut St. The current studio building was built in 1876 and has not been an ideal home for a radio station, due to problems with traffic noise and space consideration.
The radio station hopes to make its presence felt in its new neighborhood -- Penn's so-called "eastern gateway" -- with a large neon sign that will also function as a spotlight. According to xpn.org, the station is "pretty sure [the sign] will be visible from Arkansas."
WXPN has set a goal of $4 million and has already received nearly that amount from more than 5,700 individual donors.
In addition to a studio, the building will house World Cafe Live, named after the station's most popular program, the World Cafe.
The venue will have room for 350 listeners, and will include an eatery, which will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. According to the World Cafe Live Web site, there will also be "a well-stocked bar" and "a healthy beer list."
The renovated facility is the historic Hajoca building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, which means that Penn received a tax credit to maintain the exterior design when it renovated the building.Comments powered by Disqus
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