Society Hill is a historic neighborhood in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a population of 6,215 as of the 2010 United States Census. Settled in the early 1680s, Society Hill is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Philadelphia. After urban decay developed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an urban renewal program began in the 1950s, restoring the area and its many historic buildings. Society Hill has since become one of the most expensive neighborhoods with the highest average income and second highest real estate values in Philadelphia. Society Hill's historic colonial architecture, along with intelligent planning and restoration efforts, led the American Planning Association to designate it, in 2008, as one of the great American neighborhoods and a good example of sustainable urban living; the neighborhood contains one of the largest concentrations of original 18th- and early 19th-century buildings in the United States. Society Hill is noted for its Franklin street lamps, brick sidewalks and Belgian block streets bordered by two- to four-story brick rowhouses in Federal and Georgian architecture, public buildings in Greek Revival architecture such as the Merchants' Exchange Building and the Old Pine Street Church.
Society Hill is named after the 17th-century Free Society of Traders, which had its offices at Front Street on the hill above Dock Creek. The Free Society of Traders was a company of elite merchants and personal associates of William Penn who were granted special concessions in order to direct the economy of the young colony. Society Hill was known as the Dock Ward, an appropriate designation until the post-World War II period when the shipping industry declined and relocated; the Dock Ward, first defined in 1705, was one of the ten original wards that the city used to subdivide land east of 7th Street. As part of the 1854 Act of Consolidation, the Dock Ward was renamed the 5th Ward; the wards were realigned in 1965 and the boundaries of the 5th Ward no longer correspond to Society Hill's boundaries. The land area of Society Hill is 0.254 square miles. Bordering the Delaware River just south of Old City and Independence Hall, Society Hill is loosely defined as bounded by Walnut, Front and 8th Streets.
The Society Hill Civic Association further subdivides Society Hill along Spruce Street and 4th Street into quadrants by intercardinal directions: northeast, southeast and northwest. Across different sources, variation in the exact border includes extending the eastern boundary to the Delaware River, the southern border to South Street, the northern border to Chestnut Street, or limiting the western border to 7th Street. With prime access to the Delaware River and Philadelphia's civic buildings, including Independence Hall, the neighborhood became one of the most populous areas in colonial Philadelphia. Several market halls and churches were built alongside brick houses of Philadelphia's affluent citizens. After the Revolutionary War, the polluted Dock Creek—which had been used as a public sewer—became Dock Street when the city filled in the creek and created a new food distribution market. Though the streets of Philadelphia were laid out in a grid, the new Dock Street’s arc connecting Chestnut and Spruce Streets between 2nd and 3rd, owes its uncharacteristic shape to the path of the former creek as it ran to the river.
In the 19th century, the city expanded westward and the area lost its appeal. Houses deteriorated, by the 1940s, Society Hill had become a slum neighborhood, one of the worst in the city. In the 1950s, the city and federal governments began one of the first urban renewal programs aimed at the preservation of historic buildings. While most commercial 19th-century buildings were demolished, historically-significant houses were restored by occupants or taken over by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and sold to individuals who agreed to restore the exteriors. Replicas of 18th-century street lights and brick sidewalks were added to enhance the colonial atmosphere. Empty lots and demolished buildings were replaced with parks and modern townhouses. From 1957-1959, the Greater Philadelphia Movement, the Redevelopment Authority and the Old Philadelphia Development Corporation bought 31 acres around Dock Street, they demolished and relocated the Dock Street market, setting aside 5 acres of land that would become the Society Hill Towers.
In 1957, Edmund Bacon, the executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, awarded developer-architect firm Webb and Knapp the competition for the redevelopment of Society Hill. Architect I. M. Pei and his team designed a plan for three 31-story Society Hill Towers and low-rise buildings; the Towers and townhouses project was completed in 1964, while the entire plan was completed in 1977. Architect Louis Sauer designed dozens of rowhouse projects for the area around Society Hill, including Waverly Court and Penn's Landing Square. Historic buildings in Society Hill include the Society Hill Synagogue, built in 1829 as a Baptist church by Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walter, one of the architects of the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. The synagogue was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Another notable building is St. Peter's Church, constructed between 1761 by Robert Smith. Congregation Kesher Israel occupies and has renovated the building constructed by the Universalist Church in 1796 at 412 Lombard Street.
The Society Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. In 1999, it was listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places; as of the 2010 United States Census, there were 6,215 people residing in So
Southwest Center City, Philadelphia
Southwest Center City is a neighborhood in South Philadelphia bordering Center City, Pennsylvania, United States. The neighborhood is bordered on the north by Bainbridge Street, on the south by Washington Avenue, on the west by the Schuylkill River, on the east by Broad Street, it is an area adjacent to the Fitler Square and Rittenhouse Square neighborhoods to the north and Point Breeze to the south. It is home to several community service organizations, many churches, a few retail establishments, some light industry; the neighborhood has many nicknames. Since the 1980s, it has been referred to as Graduate Hospital, after the medical facility on the northern edge of the neighborhood; this name has become historical in nature since the hospital closed in 2007. Despite this, it is sometimes shortened to G-Ho; the area is variously referred to as South of South, SoSo, Naval Square, or Schuylkill-Southwest. A small corner of this area is sometimes known as Devil's Pocket; the neighborhood consists of nineteenth and twentieth-century rowhomes interspersed with corner stores, 22 churches and a few larger architectural landmarks.
On the eastern half of the neighborhood is the Scottish Rite affordable housing complex which consists of two multi-story apartment buildings that cater to elderly and low income individuals. The former buildings of Graduate Hospital lie on South Street, the northern border of the neighborhood. Along Grays Ferry Avenue is the former Philadelphia Naval Asylum or Naval Home, designed in 1826 by William Strickland; this National Historic Landmark, first constructed in 1833, closed in 1976, is now being developed into condos. The Schuylkill Arsenal was built at the edge of this neighborhood, but has since been demolished. Prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854, this neighborhood was part of Moyamensing Township. Moyamensing was chartered by the Dutch governor Alexander d'Hinoyossa, in 1684, William Penn confirmed the title; the neighborhood began taking shape after the Civil War. In 1870, it was predominantly an Irish American community, it continued to experience significant in-migration from the south prior to, after World War II.
It remained a solid working-class neighborhood for most of the first half of the twentieth century. In the 1960s a crosstown expressway running along South Street was planned; this would have created a barrier between the neighborhoods to the south. The result was widespread abandonment of properties in SWCC and the decay of the South Street business corridor; the loss of jobs and residents caused the neighborhood to decline as buildings were abandoned and left to deteriorate. The Marian Anderson House, Franklin Hose Company No. 28, William S. Peirce School, Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad Freight Shed, Royal Theater, St. Anthony de Padua Parish School, Edwin M. Stanton School, Tindley Temple United Methodist Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In recent years the area has experienced gentrification. Hundreds of single family homes and condominium units have been refurbished; as a result of the neighborhood's proximity to Center City and increasing desirability, a variety of new businesses catering to the gentrified population have opened.
Despite the improvements, the neighborhood still contains some abandoned and dilapidated housing towards the south. The Grammy Award winning musician and local resident Kenneth Gamble founded Universal Companies in Southwest Center City to revitalize the neighborhood. Universal Community Homes, a division of the company, began the Universal Court housing project in the neighborhood in the 1990s; some tension existed between the company and the local South of South Neighborhood Association, but this was soon resolved as the project was deemed a success. Universal Companies has since opened several small neighborhood businesses, low-income housing, a charter school; every year since 1975, the area hosts Philadelphia's Odunde festival, a one-day festival and a street market catered to African-American interests and the African diaspora. It is derived in celebration of the new year, it is centered at the intersection of Grays Ferry South Street. A local pub, Grace Tavern, was ranked #1 on Philadelphia Weekly's list of the Top 50 Bars.
Neighborhood photo essay Neighborhood video tour Odunde Festival History of Philadelphia Naval Home Community events calendar
Avenue of the Arts (Philadelphia)
The Avenue of the Arts is a city designated arts cultural district on a segment of Broad Street in Philadelphia, that includes many of the city's cultural institutions, most notably the theater district south of City Hall. The designation can be found as far south as Washington Avenue and as far north as the Cecil B. Moore neighborhood; the name "Avenue of the Arts" originated in a strategy by mayor Ed Rendell to redevelop South Broad Street in Center City. The Avenue of the Arts ran along Broad Street from Locust Street south to Lombard Street; the Avenue's definition was expanded to North Broad Street by city planners under mayor John F. Street's administration to encourage further development in the area; the Avenue of the Arts is overseen by the non-profit organization Avenue of the Arts, Inc. led by Executive Director Karen Lewis. The Avenue of the Arts is the locale for many of the city's large theatres, including the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music, Merriam Theater, Wilma Theater, Liacouras Center, Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
Buildings for the University of the Arts are located just east of the Kimmel Center. Philadelphia International Records' offices and gift shop is located along this strip. Just south of the strip is the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, on Broad Street in this vicinity, just north of City Hall, is the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1805, is America's oldest art school and museum and boasts a distinguished collection of American art. Several parking garages and public transportation services provided by SEPTA and DRPA at the Walnut–Locust, 12-13th Street, 15-16th Street stations, served by the Broad Street Line and the Lindenwold Line; the availability of public transportation makes Avenue of the Arts accessible to visitors. Broad Street Avenue of Technology designated by former Mayor Ed Rendell Notes Bibliography Bounds, Anna Maria. "Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts: the Challenges of a Cultural District Initinative" in Tourism and Regeneration, Melanie K. Smith, editor.
Pp 132–142. CABI, 2006. Brooks, Arthur C. and Roland J. Kishner. International Journal of Arts Management, Vol. 3, No. 2, "Cultural Districts and Urban Development". Pp. 4–15. Campoa and Brent D. Ryanb. Journal of Urban Design, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2008, "The Entertainment Zone: Unplanned Nightlife and the Revitalization of the American Downtown", pages 291-315, DOI: 10.1080/13574800802319543. Carrabc, James H. and Lisa J. Servond. Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume 75, Issue 1, 2008, "Vernacular Culture and Urban Economic Development: Thinking Outside the Box", pages 28–40. DOI: 10.1080/01944360802539226. McGovern, Stephen J. Policy & Politics, Volume 25, Number 2, April 1997, "Mayoral leadership and economic development policy: the case of Ed Rendell's Philadelphia", pp. 153–172. Strom, Elizabeth. International Journal of Cultural Policy, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2003, "Cultural policy as development policy: evidence from the United States". Pp. 247–263. Official website
Hunting Park, Philadelphia
Hunting Park is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2005, the 19140 zip code, which consists of Hunting Park and Nicetown–Tioga, had a median home sale price of $39,650; the Clara Barton School, Alexander K. McClure School, Bayard Taylor School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the years leading up until 2010 Hunting Park residents began a campaign against crime. Hunting Park is located north of Sedgley Avenue, east of the former SEPTA R7 railroad line, south of Roosevelt Boulevard, west of Front Street. Bordering neighborhoods include Logan to the north, Feltonville to the east, Fairhill to the south, Nicetown–Tioga to the southwest; as of the 2010 Census, Hunting Park was 56% Hispanic of any race, 38.1% non Hispanic black, 2.9% non Hispanic white, 1.9% Asian, 2.1% all other. The neighborhood is made up of Puerto Ricans and African Americans. Hunting Park, a 87-acre portion of Fairmount Park, lies in the Hunting Park neighborhood.
Tara Murtha of Philadelphia Weekly said "For generations, Hunting Park served as the heart of the community. About 25 years ago, it became its noose." Joann Taylor, a member of the Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee, said, as paraphrased by Murtha, "By the late'80s, the park was all but lost to hard-working members of the community. But soon community activist groups sprung up out of the negativity." The United States Post Office operates the Hunting Park Post Office at 4350 North Front Street. The School District of Philadelphia serves Hunting Park. For elementary school the area is served by the Alexander K. McClure Elementary School in Hunting Park, the Bayard Taylor Elementary School in Hunting Park, it is served by Clemente Middle School, Olney High School. The area is served by the Broad Street Line subway at the Hunting Park station. Kaboni Savage
Franklin Square (Philadelphia)
Franklin Square is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn when he laid out the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682. It is located in the Center City area, between North 6th and 7th Streets, between Race Street and the Vine Street Expressway. William Penn included this piece of green space in his original city plan as one of five squares, although the park was slow to develop because it was a marshy land; the park was a place for settlers to meditate and set a virtuous behavior to set a proper example. The Park was supposed to be landscaped to have settlers understand the value of nature. In the 1920s, the park was abandoned and the surrounding area became known locally as the “tenderloin,” with an entertainment district featuring taverns and bordellos, became a place for individuals experiencing homelessness to sleep on the park's benches, resulting in its reputation as Philadelphia's "skid row". In 2003, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. renovated the park by adding commercials and houses to attract tourists which in turn helped the park back to its originality.
Tourists are now able to enjoy the renovated park, family-friendly attractions, the surrounding nature. Franklin Square is restored back to its original plan, it is now managed by a non-profit organization. Franklin Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Called North East Publick Square, Franklin Square was renamed in 1825 to honor Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. William Penn founded the square to establish a commercial center for settlers, he wanted settlers to have a space, well-ordered to ensure they would set the proper example for fellow settlers. William Penn wanted the space to set an example to promote social discipline. However, William Penn did not have the proper warrant to have jurisdiction over the squares; when more settlers came to the land, the square was subject to neglection. In its early years, the square was an open common used for grazing animals, storing gunpowder during the American Revolution and drilling soldiers during the War of 1812.
In 1741, Governor Thomas Penn leased the square to German Reformed Church. From 1741 to 1835, a portion of the Square was used as a cemetery by the German Reformed Church; this plan was protested by Philadelphians who felt the cemetery was against William Penn's plan and wanted to ensure the square was used for nature purposes. Though there were protests, the square was continually used for burial purposes. During the 1820s, William Rush and Thomas Birch redesigned the park to depict nature by designing the park to be symmetrical to walkway and plant locations; this was to ensure the park would be orderly for tourists while ensuring the vision that William Penn had. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Franklin Square was at the center of a fashionable residential neighborhood; the construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge, from 1922–26, leveled blocks of row homes and other structures. The steady flow of cars over the bridge made Franklin Square's northern boundary, Vine Street, into one of the city's busiest thoroughfares cutting off pedestrian access on two of the Square's sides.
Franklin Square declined in pedestrian use. The surrounding area declined in commercial use, furthering the accompanying decline of neighborhood or tourist use of Franklin Square. During the depression, the square became a place for unemployed. Although there were raids to prevent this, the park attracted people in the surrounding areas who lost everything when settlers migrated to other places; this led to the encampment of homeless and further eroding of Franklin Square as a public green space. Although Franklin Square had been a popular place for tourists and residents, the square began to decline due to neglect from city government; the neighborhood's residential character was further eroded when the Federal government established Independence Mall. The government acquired private land around the Square in the 1950s and 1960s and demolished blocks of homes and other buildings; the construction of the Vine Street Expressway in the late 1980s exacerbated the problem. The park was abandoned and there was broken lights, trees that were disarray, the historic fountain was eroded.
The lack of pedestrians caused the square to be an encampment site for the homeless and a place for drug dealers. Teachers from surrounding areas had to clean up the playground so the kids could still play on the playground set; the park was neglected to the point where people could not recognize the park and nobody wanted to visit the park anymore. In 1961, writer Jane Jacobs labeled Franklin Square "the city's Skid Row park," a description that fit for decades. Franklin Square became the least-used of Penn's original five squares and continued to served as an encampment for the homeless. From 2003 to 2006, Historic Philadelphia, Inc.— a non-profit company responsible for the Betsy Ross House and several other historical sites — refurbished the park in a $5.5 million project funded by a grant from the state of Pennsylvania. Historic Philadelphia restored the fountain and cleaned up the park, aiming to bring the park back to that envisioned by William Penn, it was rededicated on July 31, 2006, in Franklin's tercentenary year.
The revitalized park contains a number of family-friendly attractions such as a golf course, an improv
Pennsport is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, United States. Pennsport is home to a large working-class Irish American population and is home to many of the organizations which are located on 2nd Street that perform in Philadelphia's annual Mummers Parade on New Year's Day, it was the site of a controversial push for casinos along the Philadelphia waterfront. Foxwoods Casino was proposed for Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street. Pennsport is bounded by Passyunk Square to the west, the Delaware River to the east, the Queen Village neighborhood to the north, the Whitman neighborhood to the south; the Pennsport Redevelopment Area Plan of 1968 listed the border streets as Washington Avenue on the north, Snyder Avenue on the south, Fourth Street on the west. The 2000 census listed Pennsport's population as 26,300, a figure that includes the populations of Southwark, Queen Village, Whitman. Pennsport is 70% white, 17% black, 8% Asian, 5% Latino. 40% of the population is under 18.
According to the Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions, Pennsport was part of Moyamensing Township. Most of the area north of present-day Mifflin Street was included in the Southwark District from 1794 until the consolidation of Philadelphia in 1854. At that point, it was contained in the First Ward; the First and Second Wards were divided by Wharton Street. The southern boundary of the First Ward spanned south to the river, but it was stopped at Mifflin Street in 1898; the first United States naval yard was located in what is now Pennsport at Federal Street on the Delaware River. The naval yard was established 1801 and was active until 1875, when it moved to League Island, where the Philadelphia Navy Yard business campus is located. Prior to its establishment as the official naval yard of the United States, it was the private shipyard of famous shipbuilder Joshua Humphreys, who designed the original six frigates of the United States Navy. One of those six original frigates, the USS Philadelphia, was built at the site.
Furness High School and the former Abigail Vare School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic rowhouse synagogue Congregation Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel was featured in the Hidden City Philadelphia 2013 Festival; the School District of Philadelphia operates public schools serving Pennsport. For grades K-8, Vare-Washington School serves area residents; the school was named Abigail Vare School and had occupied a building in Pennsport. In October 2013 the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to close Washington School in Dickinson Narrows. Abigail Vare School moved from its previous building to the former Washington building, at 1198 South 5th Street. Furness High School serves area residents; the Free Library of Philadelphia Whitman Branch in Whitman serves Pennsport. Rob McElhenney - actor, creator of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Second Street Irish Society Pennsport Civic Association Friends of Dickinson Square Park Pennsport School of Dance
Washington Square West, Philadelphia
Washington Square West is a neighborhood in downtown, or Center City, Pennsylvania. The neighborhood corresponds to the area between 7th and Broad Streets and between Chestnut and South Streets, bordering on the Independence Mall tourist area directly northeast, Market East to the northwest, Old City and Society Hill to the East, Bella Vista directly south, Hawthorne to the southwest, mid-town Philadelphia and Rittenhouse Square to the west. In addition to being a desirable residential community, it is considered a hip, trendy neighborhood that offers a diverse array of shops and coffee houses. Washington Square West contains many gay-friendly establishments and hosts annual events celebrating LGBT culture in Philadelphia including OutFest; the area takes its name from Washington Square, a historic urban park in the northeastern corner of the neighborhood. Philadelphia's Antique Row lies in the area as does the nation's oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital. Educational and medical facilities associated with Thomas Jefferson University, a leading regional medical university and health care center, are located within the neighborhood.
The one-time headquarters of the former Curtis Publishing Company and the University of the Arts lie at the edges of the neighborhood. Washington West's real estate is mixed commercial and service industries, characterized by two and four-story rowhouses interspersed with condominiums, mid-rise apartments and offices with ground-floor retail; the neighborhood follows William Penn's original grid layout for the city, with many one-lane and pedestrian side streets added as the population became more dense. In addition to the block sized Washington Square Park to the East, the neighborhood contains the smaller Kahn Park, named after the Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn who resided in the neighborhood; the name "Washington Square West" came into official use in the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of Edmund Bacon's comprehensive plan for Center City. In this plan, the south-east quadrant of center city was split into Washington Square East and Washington Square West. Both neighborhoods were scheduled for urban renewal by Philadelphia's City Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority.
After a period of decline in the early 20th century, city officials hoped that redevelopment would clean up the neighborhood and clear blighted areas. After large-scale renewal of Washington Square East/Society Hill in the early 1960s, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority turned to Washington Square West. In the late 1960s, the Redevelopment Authority bought and demolished buildings and, by the mid-1970s, owned one-fifth of the neighborhood. By this time, federal money available for urban renewal had declined and the city was no longer able to fund the renewal of Washington Square West. Buildings razed by the city in the 1960s and 1970s were left as empty lots and the neighborhood was left in a state of decline. Through the late 1970s and 1980 began a slow recovery without the aid of the large-scale redevelopment that had occurred in Society Hill; the 1990s saw a shift in the neighborhood as Mayor Ed Rendell encouraged investment in Center City and gentrification began to take hold. By the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, the neighborhood had transformed into an economically vital community.
The Washington Square West Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The 61-acre area encompasses 450 contributing buildings. Located in the district and separately listed are the Clinton Street Historic District, Roberts-Quay House, Portico Row; the area located around Chestnut, Juniper and 11th Streets within Washington Square West is known as The Gayborhood. It is so-named because of its large concentration of gay and lesbian friendly small businesses, services and gay bars, it was a red light district and center of Philadelphia's gay bathhouse culture in the 1970s and 1980s. The area is the location for Philadelphia's annual OutFest: National Coming Out Day celebration. On 18 April 2007, the city of Philadelphia recognized the area by adding 36 gay pride rainbow flag symbols to street signs bordering the Gayborhood area. 32 additional signs were added in June 2010. On 25 June 2015, indicating LGBT pride, were painted onto crosswalks on the corner of 13th and Locust Streets.
Its success as a city neighborhood has led to several attempts at large scale private development in the Gayborhood in the 2000s. In 2002, developer Tony Goldman attempted to change 13th Street and its surroundings into the "Blocks Below Broad" or "B3", with the launch of several new retail establishments; the attempt failed, but was repeated in 2006 by a merchants association organized by James McManaman. While the organization has attempted to re-brand the neighborhood "Midtown Village" and launched new retail establishments along 13th Street, long time residents and proprietors refer to the area as the Gayborhood or Center City. Louis Kahn, architect Christopher Morley, author M. Night Shyamalan, director William Still, abolitionist Washington Square West Civic Association Antique Row Philly Pride, a gay pride organization based in the Gayborhood The Philadelphia Sketch Club homepage The Philadelphia Plastic Club homepage PhillyGayCalendar - Complete list of events and venues in the area.