The University City Science Center kicked open the doors to its new headquarters at 3675 Market last Friday night when it hosted its “Choose Your Own Adventure” open house celebration.
Elected officials and executives from the Science Center and Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) — which is taking over management of the Science Center’s office and lab space as it shifts its focus to its programming — spoke about the power of the new building and surrounding uCity Square campus to transform not just West Philadelphia, but the city and region as a whole.
[Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell] always tells me ‘West is best.’ In this regard, West is best. It’s got all this development and all this investment. You represent the future of the city and our children’s future, to be able to meet the potential they have,” Mayor Jim Kenney told the audience at a reception held before the doors opened to the public.
With more than 3,000 guests registered to attend, attendees soon packed the first six floors of the 3675 Market St, where food from city favorites like Dizengoff and Federal Donuts, drink stations, artwork and interactive demos filled its expanded event spaces, offices and communal areas.
That includes its new Quorum, what it calls an “entrepreneurs clubhouse,” that’s tripled in size from its previous headquarters. There, it was tucked away on the eighth floor, but Quorum now has street level access and its event and meeting spaces span both the first and second floor.
New to the Science Center, courtesy of CIC, is the CIC’s hit Venture Cafe program on the 3rd floor, a weekly event focused on connecting the entrepreneurial community that has drawn up to 400 participants at its Cambridge location.
The Science Center’s offices fill the fourth floor, where it displayed work from its BioArt residency artists and gave visitors a 3-D look at future planned uCity Square developments. The expansion of Science Center’s space also gave its FirstHand Lab the ability to serve twice as many local middle and high school students who go there to create in its makerspace, learn about STEM fields and interact with scientists and entrepreneurs.
CIC partnered with BioLabs to bring shared and private lab space to the building’s 6th floor, where attendees listened to a live band and sipped on seemingly smoking cocktails made with dry ice Friday night.
If you missed 3675 Market St.’s open house, though, there is another chance soon to check it out as Venture Cafe Philadelphia’s first event is set to take place on Nov. 29.