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South Philly

South Philadelphia is bounded by South Street on the north and the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers to their confluence. It includes the neighborhoods of Bella Vista, Devil's Pocket, Dickinson Harrows, FDR Park, Girard Estates, Grays Ferry, Hawthorne, Italian Market, Marconi Plaza, Moyamensing, Newbold, Packer Park, Passyunk Square, Pennsport, Point Breeze, Queen Village, Southwark, the Sports Complex and Wharton.

 South Philly 

 
Bella Vista

North to South Street, South to Washington Avenue, West to 11th Street, East to 6th Street. Bella Vista was the first neighborhood settled by Italian immigrants in Philadelphia, and it continues to be one of Philadelphia's Italian American neighborhoods. Bella Vista is Italian for "beautiful sight", Annual festivals in the neighborhood include the Italian Market Festival and Bella Vista Festa. Arts and cultural events in Bella Vista are centered around public concerts, coffeehouses, Mew Gallery, and the Fleisher Art Memorial.

The neighborhood is considered the brunch capital of Philadelphia, has a bocce league that plays at Bardascino Park, and features a permanent community garden at 10th & Kimball.

Devil's Pocket

An Irish neighborhood west of Grays Ferry Avenue , It is south of Lombard Street, east of 27th Street and north of Washington Avenue, on the western edge of Southwest Center City.

Devil's Pocket is a very small neighborhood of rowhouses tucked near an industrial landscape along the banks of the river. It has historically been heavily Irish-American. The term "Devil's Pocket", not commonly used today, is said to have originated with a priest saying the neighborhood kids were so bad they would steal a chain out of the devil's pocket.

The area north of Bainbridge and west of Gray's Ferry Ave is separated from the remainder of this area by the former Navy Hospital, now Naval Square, a condominium complex. The surrounding neighborhoods has seen some gentrification, and a dilution of the Irish-American populace.


Dickinson Narrows -

Diverse neighborhood. Washington to Miflin, 4th to 6th.The area is often referred to as Philadelphia’s "newest old” neighborhood. Dickinson Narrows was originally settled by post World War II Jewish Immigrants. But by the 1950s, most immigrants had moved into the suburbs. The area’s renowned public park, Dickinson Square, lies on the east side of the neighborhood, actually out of the borders of Dickinson Narrows. Like surrounding neighborhoods, Dickinson Narrows is often combined and confused with its adjacent neighborhoods such as Pennsport and Queen Village.
 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park (locally known as the "Lakes") is an aesthetically designed park located along the Delaware River in the southern most point. Comprised of some 348 acres which includes a 146-acre golf course, about 125 acres of buildings, roadways, pathways for walking, landscaped architecture, and a variety of picnic and recreation areas placed within about 77 acres of natural lands including ponds and lagoons.

  • A Walking Tour of FDR Park
  • FDR Park 
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    Girard Estate
    Girard Estate, (aka Girard Estates), its boundaries stretch from South 22nd Street on the west to South 17th Street on the east. The southern boundary is clearly defined as the south side of Shunk Street, its northern boundary from the north side of Porter Street between South 17th Street and South 21st Street, along east side of South 21st Street to West Passyunk Avenue, then along the south side of West Passyunk Avenue to its northwestern tip at South 22nd Street. It is named after Stephen Girard whose South Philadelphia property was developed in the 1920s by the City of Philadelphia.

    Most of the semi-detached homes were built from 1906 to 1916. The architectural styles included Bungalow, Prairie, Mission, Jacobean Revival and Colonial Revival. They are a marked difference from the typical South Philly row homes.

    In 1979, Girard Estate became a location for "Rocky II." The crew filmed scenes on the 2300 block of S. Lambert Street for a week. All exteriors were shot on the street; house interiors were shot on a soundstage. Today, Girard Estates is a mostly Italian American neighborhood, with a smaller Irish population.

    Grays Ferry

     Grays Ferry, (aka Gray's Ferry), is bounded (roughly) by 25th Street on the east, the Schuylkill River on the west, Vare Avenue on the south, and Grays Ferry Avenue on the north. The section of this neighborhood west of 34th Street is also known as The Forgotten Bottom. Gray’s Ferry is across from where Mill Creek debouches at about 43rd street. The area developed because it was an important crossing of the Schuylkill River, called Mahdee's River.

    Prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854, this neighborhood was part of Moyamensing Township. Moyamensing was originally chartered by the Dutch governor Alexander d'Hinoyossa, and in 1684. In the 18th century, Gray's Ferry was the southernmost of three ferries that crossed the Schuylkill River to Philadelphia. The neighborhood's namesake ferry originally belonged to a Benjamin Chambers in the 17th century. By 1747 George Gray had taken over the ferry, and established the nearby Gray's Inn and Gray's Garden, which were popular in the 1790s.

    The Tasker Homes (aka the Tasker Housing Project) were located at 29th and Morris Streets and visible from the Schuylkill Expressway. Originally, the housing project had 1100 units and followed the city's general model of high-density, low-income housing. The Philadelphia Housing Authority began a program to remove blighted, high-density, crime-ridden housing projects and replace them with low-density, townhome-style public housing. In 2004, the Tasker Homes were demolished and replaced with the Greater Grays Ferry Estates.

    Hawthorne

    It is located between Broad Street and 11th Street, and extends from South Street to Washington Avenue. Hawthorne Square was originally the name given to the area between roughly Lombard and Bainbridge. When the city made an effort to revitalize Society Hill and the neighborhood now called Washington Square West, the community of Hawthorne Square was essentially pushed to the south and west, creating "Hawthorne" with its current boundaries.

    Hawthorne is in transition, one of the few neighborhoods contiguous to Center City, Philadelphia that had been left relatively untouched by major upscale development. It is also sandwiched between gentrifying neighborhoods: Southwest Center City is to its west and Bella Vista is to its east.

    Much of Hawthorne is currently being renovated. Old homes interiors are being redone with only the exterior remaining. Other properties that were commercial are being (or have been) demolished and new town homes have replaced them.

    The High School for the Creative and Performing Arts is also located in Hawthorne, in the former Ridgway Library. The ornate building dates to 1878 and is modeled after the Parthenon, and is the former home of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


    Italian Market

    The Italian Market is the popular name for the South 9th Street Curb Market, along 9th St. from Fitzwater St. in the north to Wharton St. in the southan area of Philadelphia featuring many grocery shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, butcher shops, etc., many with an Italian influence. The term Italian Market is also used to describe the surrounding neighborhood between South Street to the North and Wharton Street to the South running a few blocks to the east and west of 9th street. It is entirely contained in the Bella Vista neighborhood.

    The name "Italian Market" came about in the mid-1970s as supermarket chains began to move to the area. In decline, the Ninth Street Market left a predominantly Italian population. The area continues to attract new immigrants as a significant number of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Mexican-run businesses have joined the traditional Italian shops in the market. Many new Mexican stores have opened up around the market.

    The market also plays host to the annual Italian Market Festival with music, activities and, of course, food.

    The "outdoor" market features bright colorful metal awnings cover the sidewalks where vendors of fruit, vegetables, fish, and housewares conduct business year round. Ground floor shops in traditional Philadelphia rowhouses line the street. Owners would have originally lived above their shops, and many still do.

    The market is open year round, generally from 9 am to 5 pm, though it varies from business to business. Most businesses are open until lunchtime on Sunday, and closed Monday. Outdoor stands and cafes open at the crack of dawn, and restaurants serve patrons late into the evening.

    As Philadelphia has gentrified so has the Italian Market. Outdoor seating at cozy cafes, upscale gift stores and top notch gourmet shops are thriving among the market's traditional produce vendors and specialty butchers and cheese mongers.

    Marconi Plaza

    Marconi Plaza is a park and an Italian-American enclave, Marconi Plaza has two main halves, East and West, which are divided in the middle by Broad Street. It is located at the most southern end of the city and within the northern border of the Sports Complex Special Services District. The neighborhood is accessible via the Oregon Avenue Station of the Broad Street Subway.

     

     

    Moyamensing/ Lower Moyamensing

    Moyamensing was originally a township on the fast land of the Neck, lying between Passyunk and Wicaco. It was incorporated into the Philadelphia County, The tract was granted by the Dutch West India Company Lieutenant Alexander d'Hinoyossa, Vice-Director of New Amstel to Martin Clensmith, William Stille and Lawrence Andries. In 1684, when the land was turned over from the Dutch to the English, the title was given by William Penn to William Stille, Lassey Andrews, Andrew Bankson and John Matson.

    By act of March 24, 1812, the inhabitants of Moyamensing were incorporated. By act of April 4, 1831, the township was divided into East and West Moyamensing. The township was one of the earliest created after the settlement of Pennsylvania, and became part of Philadelphia in 1854.

    The Moyamensing Prison was built between 1822-1835 at Reed and 10th Streets. A portion of it also housed a Debtors Prison. The structure was demolished in 1967.


    Newbold

    Its boundaries are from Reed Ave. to Passyunk Ave., and from Broad Street to 16th Street. This area has historically been part of Point Breeze, however John Longacre (owner of the South Philadelphia Taproom) dubbed the neighborhood "Newbold" in 2003 in an effort to differentiate it from the rest of Point Breeze. Longacre drew inspiration for the name from the original name of Hicks Street. Soon Longacre formed the Newbold CDC and Civic which gave rise to other area civic groups.

     

     

     

    Packer Park

    The approximate boundaries are Packer Avenue to the north, Hartranft Street to the south, Broad Street to the east, and 20th Street to the west Packer. Many of the homes are found in two unique developments: Packer Park built in the 1950s and Brinton Estates built in the 1990s. It is one of four residential communities that form Philadelphia's Sports Complex Special Services District. Park is also home to one of the most organized community groups in the South Philadelphia region.

    The township ceased to exist and was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia following the passage of the Act of Consolidation, 1854. The American Swedish Historical Museum located in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park on the southern border of the Packer Park community memorializes the Swedish ethnic history.

    To the immediate east is the South Philadelphia sports complex consisting of Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, Wachovia Spectrum and Wachovia Center. It was the former site of both now demolished Veterans Stadium and John F. Kennedy Stadium.

    The Packer Park urban townhouses distinguish themselves in South Philadelphia by departing from the Philadelphia grid of streets and blocks of dense rowhomes. This included cul-de-sacs that were designed with a greater emphasis on a green park setting with common green spaces and accommodation for driveways and off street car parking. The community soon became populated by a large second-generation Italian immigrant population, and continues to be an Italian American neighborhood like much of South Philadelphia.

    Parker Park - West (The Reserve) The Packer Park community name expanded in 2003–2007 adjacent to the original footprint became known as the "Reserve" at Packer Park, a separate housing development built on a triangular land area to the west of 20th Street, north of Pattison, east of Penrose Avenue. The Reserve was built on what was formerly a United States naval housing site, built in 1962 and abandoned in 1995 after the Cold War. The existing street layout preserved green areas augmented with large back yards, open area pocket parks and tot lots. The streets and cul-de-sacs were renamed to memorialize sections of Italy to reflect the Italian-American population.

    Packer Park - East (Stella Maris Homes) The Packer Park community name extended for a separate 1950s development commonly associated with the "Stella Maris" parish housing on 13th street for the priest and nuns until the buildings were completed on 10th and Bigler Street.

    Passyunk Square

    Passyunk Square is bordered by the Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Central South Philadelphia, Wharton and Point Breeze neighborhoods. [2] [3] The park bounded by 12th, 13th, Wharton and Reed Streets in this neighborhood now known as Columbus Square was formerly known as "Passyunk Square". Geoff DiMasi revived this name when forming the Passyunk Square Civic Association. The neighborhood is best known for its shopping and restaurants along the East Passyunk Avenue corridor.

    East Passyunk Avenue features a large number of privately owned shops, restaurants, and grocery stores; additionally, it has a number of businesses such as insurance offices, salons, and pharmacies.


    Pennsport

    Locally referred to as "Two Street", Pennsport is bound by Passyunk Square to the west, the Delaware River to the east, Queen Village neighborhood to the north, and Whitman to the south. Penn's Port is a predominantly Irish-American Catholic neighborhood.and is home to a large working Irish American population and many Mummer clubs.

     

     

    Point Breeze

    It is generally bound by 25th Street to the west, Washington Avenue to the north, Broad Street to the east, and Mifflin Street to the south, although the sections between 18th Street and Broad Street are coming into their own neighborhood as Newbold. 'Point Breeze' was originally the name given to a spot on the west side of the Schuylkill River. Point Breeze Avenue then became the road that cut southwest to provide access to the spot from what was at the time Philadelphia proper.Today it is a neighborhood under revitalization from efforts steered by South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S. Inc. and the Point Breeze Community Development Coalition Inc., in addition to such organizations as Neighbors in Action, Universal Companies, Point Breeze Business Association, Point Breeze Pioneers greening group and other prominent Philadelphia organizations.

     

    Queen Village:

    Lies along the eastern edge of the city, immediately south of Center City boundaries north to Lombard St., south to Washington Ave., east to the Delaware River, west to 6th St.. It shares boundaries with Society Hill to the north, Bella Vista to the west and Pennsport to the south. Historically, the area is part of old Southwark, Philadelphia’s first suburb which was incorporated into the city in 1856 and remains the city’s oldest residential neighborhood.

    The earliest European settlements in Queen Village were part of “New Sweden” in a region inhabited by indigenous Lenni Lenapi who themselves called the area “Wiccaco”, or “Pleasant Place”. Despite Penn’s planned orderly east-to-west filling of the city, new inhabitants tended to stay close to the Delaware River, preferring to subdivide Penn’s original ample lots or move just south or north of the city rather than west beyond 4th Street. To meet spill-over demand, Queen Village builders constructed homes cheaply from wood, although this had been outlawed due to fires within the city limits by 1796. Only a few wood plank front homes survive in Queen Village. The Village diverged from the colonial city in cultural matters as well. Since Quakers forbid theater within the city limits, Queen Village, was home to the first permanent playhouse in 1766 on South Street.

    By 1830, Queen Village as well as the southern parts of Southwark contained a thriving community of 20,000 who made their living as weavers, tailors, ship builders, mariners or as machinists and black smiths in iron foundries. By the 1890s, an Eastern European Jewish population settled along the South Street and 4th Street commercial corridors, the latter of which became Philadelphia's Fabric Row, and a significant number of Poles settled along the waterfront as dockworkers; large numbers of Italians began arriving and settling in Queen Village and South Philadelphia after 1910.

    In the first half of the 20th century, Queen Village had grown into a racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood of merchants and laborers living in dense enclaves, not unlike New York’s Lower East Side.

    After WWII, Queen Village’s population began to decline as families left the city for the suburbs. Further, in the 1960’s, Edmund Bacon’s central plan for Philadelphia cut off the neighborhood from its historical link to the river by driving I-95 through the neighborhood, demolishing some 300 historic structures in the process.

    South Street’s commercial revival began with a few anchor businesses like Eye's Gallery, JC Dobbs, and The Theater of the Living Arts, ramping up through a gritty punk phase into the restaurant/club/retail pastiche that exists today and extends fingers into Head House Square and 4th Street. Today, the South Street-Head House District represents upward of 300 cafes, restaurants, entertainment venues, and shops and Queen Village is home to some 7000 families whose median income and home values are among the highest in the city.

     

    Schuylkill
    It has many different names and has been called Graduate Hospital and Southwest Center City. Schuylkill lies on the west side of Broad Street as far as 25th Street, where the Point Breeze neighborhood starts, and from the north side of Washington Avenue up to South Street. Schuylkill is currently experiencing a period of gentrification with the restoration of several abandon houses in the area..

     


    Southwark
    The boundaries include Cedar (South) St. and the Delaware River, and proceeded west to Passyunk Ave.; along the latter to Moyamensing Ave.; then by Keeler’s Lane to Greenwich Road; then to the Delaware River, and along the several courses of the same until reaching the beginning point again.

    Southwark was originally the Southwark District, a colonial era municipality in Philadelphia County. Today, it is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia. Because of its location south of the early Philadelphia, the name was adopted in allusion to the borough of Southwark in the county of London, England, just south of the city of London.
    Southwark is one of the oldest English settlements inPhiladelphia. Its inclusion in the former Swedish colony of New Sweden. Southwark was originally a tract of ground on the fast land of the Neck, lying between Passyunk and Wicaco. Due to the populations of the Swedish settlements of Wicaco and Moyamensing, Southwark grew earlier than other parts of the county apart from the city of Philadelphia.

    In 1854, it was incorporated into the city of Philadelphia and the borough comprised the area bounded on the north by South Street, on the west by Passyunk Avenue from 5th and South to 10th and Reed; the boundary then ran along Reed Street, down 7th, and along Mifflin Street to the river. Today, there are only a few traces of the name "Southwark" in this part of Philadelphia. . These include Southwark restaurant at 4th and Bainbridge, Southwark Paints further south on 4th, Southwark Development Corp., a public-housing project along Washington Avenue from 3rd to 5th.

    In the late 1970s, this area of Philadelphia was renamed, and the Northern portion is now commonly known as Queen Village. The neighborhood of Pennsport is the primary southern half of what was Southwark. The area is a diverse community, a multi-racial neighborhood of middle class, working class, and professionals.


     
    Sports Complex

    The South Philadelphia Sports Complex is the current home of Philadelphia's professional sports teams. It is the site of the Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and a retail/entertainment center Xfinity Live!.
    The South Philadelphia Sports Complex was also once home to John F. Kennedy Stadium, Veterans Stadium and the Spectrum. Prior to its development, it was a shanty town known as "The Neck" of the undeveloped League Island area formerly Passyunk Township. Oregon Avenue was the southern border end of the city up to the 1920s.

    The Wells Fargo Center (formerly the CoreStates Center, the First Union Center and the Wachovia Center) opened in 1996 and is home to the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Wings (NLL), and Philadelphia Soul (AFL). Lincoln Financial Field (known as "The Linc") opened in 2003 and is home to the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) and Temple Owls (NCAA football). Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 and is home to the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB).

     

    Wharton

    Its boundaries are difficult to ascertain; the City of Philadelphia states it is along Wharton Street, west of Pennsport, and east of Point Breeze. According to this description, the neighborhood runs from about 4th Street to Broad, with no clear north to south boundaries. The name "Whitman" was adopted when the nearby Walt Whitman Bridge was being constructed in the 1950s. When the neighborhood was declared an urban-renewal area in the mid-1950s, the nearby Walt Whitman Bridge also was being constructed. It was only logical, then, to lend the poet's name to the neighborhood as well.

     

     

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