The Factory Workers
Pod Park, 2021
Urban timber, repurposed steel, salvaged parts, and I-beams.
Team: Tom Marchetty and Dustin Windish
My name is Tom Marchetty and I am the Owner of an Old 1920’s Movie Theater in Collingswood Called, The Factory Workers. I converted this Old Abandoned Building into a vibrant Woodworking/Metalworking Studio with 22 Creative Work Spaces / Studios.
I grew up learning metalworking at our family machine shop, which was located in Camden, NJ. I studied Metalworking I and II at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in my early twenties. Marchetty Machinery serviced all the Factory Machinery and Equipment for Companies in the Tristate Area, but mostly Philadelphia and Camden based Businesses. Over the years, more and more factories started closing up to overseas competition and we started closing up more shops then opening them up. It got to the point, companies (our clients) would call us and tell us they were closing up their factory and asked us if we had any use for the machinery that we once serviced for years. After acquiring these machines, I decided to open up a community makerspace with the machines that I received from these closed up factories. I found this old movie theater that was falling down, I purchased it, fixed it up, and started a business with these reclaimed machines. When coming up with a name for the business we thought it would be a nice idea to pay our respects to all the men and women who lost their jobs in those factories we closed up. This is where we came up with the name, The Factory Workers.
It is here where I changed course and started teaching myself woodworking and I started expanding my knowledge with a metalworking background. I primarily now create beautiful live edge wood tables using Urban Timber while incorporating steel fabricated legs. Sometimes I will go to a scrap yard and repurpose old Steel parts from machinery and equipment and also incorporate these pieces to create some very cool table bases.
I have done work with The Philadelphia Flower Show in Building and creating exhibits. I have done work for Subaru of America in outfitting their exhibit at the XPoNential Concert at the Camden Waterfront. I have created a metal “Tree of Life” for Children and Family members to decorate leaves to hang on the tree with their loved ones names on it. This project was donated to Virtua Hospital’s Cancer Center. This is to just name a few projects I had the honor to work on.
I have designed Interactive “PODS” that can be dropped onto the site and laid out accordingly to make the space come alive. These Pods would be made of I-Beams, Square Steel Tubing, reclaimed lumber, reclaimed machinery parts, and Table Tops using Urban Timber. The PODS would serve several purposes. It will be a place for the community to gather and enjoy the site. The PODS can be used for picnics, relaxation, and viewing of the exhibit. It creates shade in this open space where there are not many trees to do so and at the same time making the space visually beautiful.
There once was a lot of Factories in the City Of Camden and I would like to showcase several of those businesses names cut out onto steel plate with imagery next to their business names. For Instance a business in Camden called, Lingo, Manufactured almost all the Flag Poles in this region. So I propose to have Their Name Lingo, With a Cutout of a Flag next to their name on Steel Plate, I would do this with several other businesses like Antrim Hardware (which was located a block up on Federal Street), with a Bolt next to their name and so on.
In using these pieces I am trying to suggest a nod to the industrial past of Camden and the strength and pride that people had in living and working there. I am trying to translate those elements and that spirit into a more modern design of multi-functional public spaces where people can gather and feel inspired.