Solomon-Solis Cohen Elementary School

The School District of Philadelphia
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The original S. Solis Cohen Elementary School has been located on a 12 acre campus in North Philadelphia since its construction in 1947, acting as a community center between residential neighborhoods and commercial districts of the city.  Recent discovery of structural damage to the building required the demolition of the school for the safety and staff. This unfortunate discovery turned to a great opportunity in the buildings replacement to re-envision the future of elementary education in Philadelphia initiated by Dr. Hite, Superintendent of Schools and Mayor Jim Kenney.  


With 339 schools in the District, S. Solis Cohen Elementary School is the first new school constructed in twenty years. It is the the first major construction project planned for a current $5 billion revitalization plan.


Development of the 1,400 student school campus evolved to not only accommodate pragmatic requirements including safety and security, separation of vehicular traffic, but more importantly to develop the campus as a park within a highly populated neighborhood.  More than 80% of the students walk to school, so the site design incorporates walkways and plazas in the park like setting.


Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates design team used a variety of planning tools to engage the students, staff, parents and community in the development of the educational and building program. Two of the leading tools were visual listening exercises and charrettes between the design team and stakeholders.

Awards & Certifications

Alternative & Clean Energy Program Grant
Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
LEED Gold Registered
U.S. Green Building Council

150,140 SF






Philadelphia, PA



January 01, 1970
Found Opportunities: Discovering a Sustainable Vision through Collaboration for the Learning Environment
January 01, 1970
Solomon Solis-Cohen Elementary School Dedication
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