Before the COVID-19 pandemic radically altered our daily lives, the neighborhood of West Philadelphia was brought together to celebrate a groundbreaking work of art painted by artist Faith XLVII on the University Square Complex building. The mural, named ‘Silent Watcher’ is an imposing visual statement that stands tall at 19 stories high, across 11,000 square feet. The building that recently underwent a massive renovation by major real estate developer Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions was updated for the first time in 40 years. Containing 442 units in the building, University Square Complex was transformed into optimal living conditions to serve the needs of elderly families and senior citizens.
“We are committed to ensuring high-quality housing for all income levels and we pledge to continue preserving the affordability of these units for generations to come,” said OAHS Chairman, Meyer Orbach.
As Orbach and the reputable OAHS group have taken on an active and crucial role in community advocacy in every location where the company has made an impact, thanks to the wholesome approach to multi-layered social integration and also for diversity, the ‘Silent Watcher’ speaks to history and wide demographic of the City of Brotherly Love. Orbach, who is also a partner in the Minnesota Timberwolves Organization has prioritized his work to facilitate community and unity in neighborhoods of all races and demographics through his affordable housing properties.
With nearly 4000 affordable units across the U.S., Meyer and OAHS continue to effect positive change in every community where the company does business. As Mr. Orbach´s company continues its seemingly unstoppable expansion including five new properties they acquired earlier this year—three in New York and two in Pennsylvania, the commitment to continue acting as a force of positive influence across America remains top priority. By the end of 2020, OAHS will have assisted over 5000 families with the acquisition of affordable housing that is both accessible and comfortable.
The mural on the University Square Complex reflects the face of a beautiful woman of racial ambiguity, as she looks down at the neighborhood below, speaking to the diversity and demographic of the city. Beneath the woman, Faith XLVII consciously placed a quote by Philadelphia native, Noam Chomsky who was known as a philosopher and historian.
“Optimism is a strategy for a making a better future.”
And just above the Chomsky quote is an excerpt from the seal of Philadelphia that reads, “Philadelphia Maneto,” meaning “Let Brotherly Love Endure.”
In such a time of widespread disruption, uncertainty and turmoil, the mural demonstrates and encourages peace and unity in the city. Now more than ever, with such great relevance and applicability, the message of ‘Silent Watcher’ resonates with communities across the entire country among various ethnic groups.
To see the vast mural in person, it can be viewed in West Philadelphia at 3901 Market Street.