What's Old is New Again

Gratz Archive Reformer
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Nicole Smith-Alvarez
Photo by M Scott Whitson Photography



What are some of the differences in the Gratz Archive Reformer from the standard?

The Gratz Archive Reformer has a firmer, more dense foam. The firmer foam, provides the right amount of support for the different body parts. It allows the spine to find its place and in turn gives the lower back the feeling of being opened.

The shoulder blocks have a lower profile. This allows more space for the heel to work in and under the shoulder rest when need be. It also allows the heel to work in and over the shoulder block (as in knee stretches) and is more accommodating to various types of feet. The blocks compliment the shoulder alignment (as in snake/twist or stomach massage). The lower profile block also endorses our new strap attachment, allowing the strap (as in frogs/circles and short spine) to mimic the same angles used in mat work.




About the Gratz Archive Reformer



In celebration of our 50th year of manufacturing the finest Pilates apparatus, Gratz Industries is offering our Gratz Archive Reformer, in celebration of our half century making the worlds finest equipment.

Over the years, it has come to light small changes in customization had occurred for various reasons. Donald Gratz and Romana Kryzanowska collaborated in design develop in 1968.

Donald and Romana had opportunity to copy the equipment that Joseph Pilates and his brother had built and used in Joe’s New York studio. There were several versions of each apparatus and Romana determined which details would be used and Donald figured out the best way to make the parts.



This Gratz Archive 80” Aluminum Reformer was developed based on some of these older details. We were able to verify these details from older apparatus we have restored from many loyal customers. Specific parts and design differed slightly from the standards that Romana and Donald developed.

The Gratz Archive Reformer is an amalgam unit with parts that were made throughout the past and are now available again. We have combined and curated these for our Gratz Pilates Ultra Enthusiasts to truly mean “what’s old is new again”!



Choose between our standard Aluminum & Wood Handles or Leather & Wood Handles or our traditional Gratz Archive Stainless Steel Wire Handles or Aluminum and Wood Trapezoidal Handles. Choose between a pair of Thin or Thick Black Rubber Pads.


Is this Reformer more original and authentic than the standard Gratz Reformer?

Yes and No. Many details came and went throughout the 1960’s – 2000’s. With addition of the 86” and 89” reformer, came some detailed changes to adjust for length. All specs we used were varied on Joseph Pilates original hand made apparatus. Romana chose which details to copy and had asked Donald Gratz to fabricate 50 years ago. Our standard reformer is based on the original designs, as are the Gratz Archive specifications.


Is the Gratz Archive Reformer available in 80” aluminum only?

Gratz issues the Reformer in the aluminum 80” size, as this was the original length of reformers. We can offer the aluminum 86” and 89” versions, but the unit is not available in wood.


Brie Adina Neff and Patience Owen
Photo by M Scott Whitson Photography



About Nicole Smith-Alvarez

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York Nicole Alvarez began her formal dance training at John Dewey H.S. under the artistic guidance of the John Michael Goring and continued her undergraduate work in business management at Long Island University. She is also the recipient of several scholarships to some of the most prestigious dance institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Ballet Hispanico. Nicole held the principal dancer position with the Lula Washington Dance Theater and has graced many stages around the world receiving rave reviews by national critics. Nicole credits her professional dance career to numerous companies including; Eleo Pomare Dance Company, Louis Johnson Dance Theater Ensemble, and Ballet Hispanico Ensemble.

Nicole Smith-Alvarez

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About Brie Adina Neff

Equilibrium Pilates, LLC is proud to offer the highest quality of traditional Pilates instruction and Teacher Training in the Philadelphia area for over 15 years. Winner of many awards including Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly”, Philadelphia Style’s “Style Award”, Philadelphia Weekly’s “ICON Award" and City Paper's "People's Choice Award”, Director and Senior Certified Pilates Instructor Brie Adina Neff and her team have been featured in numerous media broadcasts and publications. Equilibrium Pilates and its knowledgeable staff strive to uphold the high standards and continue the tradition of the work of Joseph Pilates as introduced to us by his protege, the beloved Romana Kryzanowska, and her daughter, Master Pilates Instructor Sari Mejia Santo.

Equilibrium Pilates, LLC

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