Project Spotlight: Settlement Music School in Willow Grove, PA

Words: Bronzella Cleveland
The School’s exterior is clad in four-inch ground face architectural block veneer.

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Settlement Music School is the largest community school of the arts in the United States, with locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Settlement’s mission is to provide the highest quality instruction in music and the related arts to children and adults, regardless of age, background, ability or economic circumstances.

The School’s Willow Grove facility provides 29 classrooms and the Leonard Mellman Recital Hall that can seat 400 spectators or serve as a studio for dance programs.

The School’s exterior is clad in four-inch ground face architectural block veneer, which provides a beautiful and resilient finish. The block design called for contrasting gray and white colors, which required superior strength and consistency over traditional CMUs.

Ground face masonry units provide an eye-catching, polished look that exposes the interior matrix of the block. Both the gray and white ground face block produced by Fizzano Bros. Concrete Products were made using Lehigh White Cement (on Facebook at While standard gray cement might get close to the color, it would not provide the superior uniformity of color and excellent early strength gained by using white portland cement.

Project team:
Architect | George von Scheven
General Contractor | TN Ward
Mason Contractor | Connelly Construction Corp.
Block Manufacturer | Fizzano Bros. Concrete Products



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