Studio @ Mt. Pisgah

switchback12The studio @ Mt. Pisgah is our new home and design mecca. Mt Pisgah is directly across from Flagstaff Mountain, with the town of Jim Thorpe nestled below in between the two mountains. The summit of Mt Pisgah, in Mauch Chunk (currently Jim Thorpe, PA), was the former home of the Mt Pisgah Railhouse, the steam engine used for the Switchback Gravity Railroad at the end of the twentieth century. The Switchback Gravity Railroad began as a one-way gravity railroad, the second ever built in the US, where coal was taken from the mines and sent down the track via gravity to the barges on the Lehigh River. Later, when the steam engine was added, the coal cars were able to be pushed back up the incline using the same technology old wooden coasters use to push cars up the hill. In fact, The Switchback Gravity Railroad is credited as being the first rollercoaster ever created, after being turned from a coal production operation to amusement ride, when the coal industry went bust in the late 180o’s. Read More about Switchback Gravity Railroad

Beers Atlas Switchback sketch copyThe studio is located about 200 feet from where the rails once stood; great and inspiring men once rode these rails and traveled to this quaint town to see the engineering marvel that Josiah White and Asa Packer (Founder of Lehigh University) had built. Today, the rails are gone but it is one of the best rail-trails for hiking and biking in the area. The building the studio is currently in may have been a small barn or carriage house to house the mules used to pull the coal cars back to the mine, prior to the incorporation of the steam engine into the Switchback. It was also used at some point by The Lehigh Coal & Navigation company to store test and core samples of coal and uranium, prior to their transport to Palmerton for refining.

Below Mt Pisgah, lies the quaint town of Jim Thorpe, PA (Formerly Mauch Chunk). It is known as “The Switzerland of America” with its picturesque scenery, mountainous locations, and well-kept examples of many different styles of architecture. The town has brought in tourists from Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey for over a century. At one point in time, Mauch Chunk was second only as a destination to Niagra Falls. It is one of the best kept examples of old and Victorian architecture and has wide ranging styles including Queen Anne, Edwardian, Romanesque, and federalist. The crown jewel being the Asa Packer Mansion, an Italianate Villa built in 1860, which is fully preserved as it has been since 1912, furnishings and all. Today, the town is still a tourist destination with small boutique shops, artisans, hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, hiking, biking and tons of outdoor activities. It is truly an inspiring place, and steeped in the culture of the hospitality industry.

IMG_20140917_145512874The studio @ Mt Pisgah, In Jim Thorpe, PA is located about an hour and half north of Philadelphia or a short 2-hour ride from NYC. We are positioned within the busiest region in the US, but tucked away in our inspiring little town, atop the hill. There is something truly magical about living and working in a place with such beauty, architecture and history, as well as within a small town chock full of other artists and creatives. We thought it was the perfect place for a few designers to call home (: