VISUAL PHENOMENA STUDIO is located in the SW suburbs of Philadelphia, PA in Delaware County in close proximity to all major tranportation corridors, including PHL International Airport (8 minutes +/-), the Center City Films production studios and sound stage (around the corner, 2 blocks East of VPS), SEPTA Regional Rail’s newly redesigned and rebuilt R3 Primos station (4 blocks East of VPS)) that was a stopping inbound/outbound boarding point for the 2015 Papal visit to the World Conference of Familes that convened in Center City Philadelphia, half the distance between US Route 95 (N/S; Exit 9B) and US Route 1 (N/S) near Baltimore Pike that runs between Media and Center City by way of University City, Children’s Hopsital and the entire University of Pennsylvania and Drexel College campus areas and 25 minutes from Wilmington, DE, using US 95, Baltimore Pike or US 1 which merges with the pike in Media, PA.
The geographic convenience is secondary to the convenience provided by a full service multi-media arts and A-V production and post-production studio and boutique fine arts gallery, an analog and a digital studio recording capability as well as the capacity to create on-location field production quickly, efficiently and in a contemporary stream-lined state-of-the-art design that has been incorporated into VISUAL PHENOMENA STUDIO. Business is conducted as CEI T/A VISUAL PHENOMENA and registered as a Full C stock corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CREATED ENVIRONMENTS, INC. (CEI) is a wholly owned operation that provides the business and fiscal umbrella for VISUAL PHENOMENA STUDIO and shares ownership with me, Jeffrey Pergament for the fictitious name, VISUAL PHENOMENA. which was created on April 18th., 1986 when I resigned from my government appointment as Administrator of Cultural & Heritage Affairs for the County of Atlantic, NJ. The Atl. Co. Office of Cultural Affairs functioned as an element of the Atlantic County Exceutive Offices with the Office of Public Information and the County Administrator’s office. From 1977 through 1986, Atlantic County, NJ underwent unprecedented growth in both scale and speed, from the Boardwalk hotel-casinos to the mainland housing developments and PUDs that rapidly appeared across the farmlands of South Jersey.
As the volume of surface development and landscape transition increased, my scope of services and amount of incoming unsolicitesd requests from local arts agencies, visual and performing artists and historic societies also increased and the necessity of certain actions were required to manage the development, the waste by-product from an ever-increasing resident and transient population and the permit processes, design mitigations and approval agencies to coordinate for an approval of a project, the Office of Cultural Affairs was re-assigned to the Department of Regional Planning & Development and data flowed through the department head, the planning director, rather than a direct line through the County Administrator to the County Executive, the chief elected offial for the government.
All new development under CAFRA and the Pinelands statute required resource inventory, assessment and documentation for any given plan to change the exisitng “as built” surface. Every project submitted an environmental impact statement that included all of this data for review by all the agencies that had to provide a permit to build or rebuild an existing site or structure. To fulfill this statutory obligation, I was awarded a federal grant from the Department of the Interior and adminsitered through the NJ Office of Historic Preservation to perform the photogramatics and commentary descriptions of the entire surface development of the county to have the data base for review and approval of anything that was presented from new construction to historic preservation and to create a massive multi-page paper document, now on microfilm at the NJ State Aerchives and with the National Register of Historic Places, from which to determine whether culutral, historic or locally significant resources were being encroached by any given project, and to determine project approval and award the permit for a project to “break ground.” The Atlantic County Historic Sites Survey was completed, published and utilized on a daily basis as part and parcel of the permit process. It made sense that the Office of Cultural Affairs was re-assigned because I worked directly with the planning director to make the approvals happen or not happen.
An example of this was the Marlboro-Blenheim hotel at the Boardwalk and Park Place in Atlantic City, NJ. Bally Manufacturing, a Chicago vending and amusement machine manufacturer that designed and built slot machines and pinball machines for the gaming industry made a decision to design and build a 3-tower gaming venue, its premiere project as an operator rather than a supplier, at the site of the Marlboro-Blenheim hotel. The local community and the NJ Office of Historic Preservation did not want this to happen – they felt that this hotel was a significant national treasure because Thomas Edison designed and built a portion of this hotel with ferro-concrete building methodology. The venue was a unique aerchitectural gem – no question. The Historic Sites Survey had documented all of this and the information and visual support materials would always remain after the building had perished over time through attrition. Bally’s problem was a simple problem and there was a simple solution. At the time, there were other existing hotel-casinos operating in Atlantic City – Resorts International, the Claridge, The Sands, Ceasar’s, Golden Nugget, the Tropicana and several more on the immediate horizon – Penthouse, Playboy that became Trump Taj Mahal, Harrah’s at the Farley Marina facing Brigantine and many other proposals, including floating doughnut-shaped hotel-casinos.
Bally’s problem was a design failure in the existing buildings. The known ingress and egress of the visitors to any hotel-casino was a very large number and well beyond the safety capacity for the size and design of the old Victorian wooden and concrete structure. Government officals who approve such projects for the provision of building permits rarely are high-end architectural designers. They usually are over-worked, under-staffed and never with enough time to do everything that was requested from above. Consultants are critical for this permit process to move forward in a cost-effective manner for government and for the business applicant. Coupled with the background investigation required for licensing to operate a hotel-casino, this building process was an ever-increasing expense in direct relation to the time required to receive the approved permit.
Upon investigation and a field survey, I determined that the rust on the iron rods, the rebar, had expanded and breached the structural integrity of the ferro-concrete portion of this historic relic from the past. To correct this problem, the building would have to be skirted, sistered and laminated with a steel coating to secure the vertical stress bearing on the breached ferro-concrete system would not collapse with its intended use. The doorways could be redesigned to tolerate a greater number of in/out passers-by but to accomplish this structural repair, the integrity of the building design that was desired to “be saved from the wrecking ball” would be lost and there was no point in denying the permit to demolish and to build a new hotel-casino, which became Bally’s Park Place Hotel-Casino with an intended additional total of three 85′ towers added to a ground level 3-story structure. Each additional tower would require its own permit. Because time equals money, Winzinger was hired to implode the structure to clear the field for Bally’s to build its showcase which was filled with 100% Bally equipment, despite the state law that prohibited any monoply vendor.* The hotel-casino referendum was a redevelopmentr experiment to revitalize a resort that had gone broke following the airline strike and heatwave in the summer of 1966, prior to my motorcycle-automobile accident on October 19th., 1966. A decade of economic misery gave birth to a second referendum that permittted the building of hotel-casinos by a certain formula in Atlantic City, NJ.
To say that the 9/11 implosion of the WTC was identical to this Marlboro-Blenheim implosion would make no sense at this time. Building 7 is the mystery for me.
The Atlantic County Office of Cultural Affairs also coordinated the implementation of a 1% arts inclusion statute whereby every capital development project undertaken by the county that cost a minimum $100,000.00 would be required to dedicate 1% of the total budget for a construction or reconstruction project to be used for fine arts elements to create work environment that was conducive to working efficiently and comfortably in a pleasing interior space rather than the traditional pale green flat painted walls and flourescent lighting fixtures. Good design is the same cost as bad design. The paint is purchased; use an artistic approach – the Office of Cultural Affairs was me and I inherently brought my talents and skill sets to the comunal metaphorical table. I had a secretary who replaced me when I resigned at my suggestion to the County Executive and she has held that positon since 1986 for the past 30 years so far. The Office of Cultural Affairs now operates inside the Mays Landing County Library. Ironically, my former peer county arts administrator for Middlesex County now is the NJ State Librarian.
CREATED ENVIRONMENTS, INC. (CEI) also has within its corporate structure DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL, INC. (DCSI), also a Full C stock corporation wholly owned and registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am the sole owner of both corporations and own 100% of the issued stock. Interested partner/patrons who wish to invest in my companies can discuss a stock purchase with me at any time. My mind, my vision and my eye-hand coordination and artistic skill sets, and my equipment and raw materials are the stock and trade of my businesses. The network of other professionals with whom I associate and collaborate allows me the luxury of a very successful, artistically fulfilling 1-person operation. Carlo Minotti, composer and developer of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC once said to me during a meeting, “Of all the statues in all of the cities, there are none of the statues built for committees!”
My friends, patrons, partners, fans, enemies and clients, I am a one-man band. Call me, email me and visit my several web sites to enjoy what I create and to determine what it is we can do together, your way and my way. I love working with others. I do, however, entertain myself quite successfully.