March 5, 2016
One by one, the totems of poverty that once dotted Philadelphia's urban landscape have been disappearing. Since the late '90s, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has imploded 23 public housing towers and replaced them with traditional rowhouses. On March 19, two more of those alien towers, the Norman Blumberg Apartments, will be reduced to dust in the North Philadelphia neighborhood the PHA has dubbed Sharswood. This time, however, the housing authority's ambitions are much bigger than usual.
August 24, 2015 |
The keys to the shackles of a serial killer. The fragments of a dead man's gun. A "Stop Snitching" street sign. Crime-scene photos and courtroom sketches. Mass cards and thank-you notes. Into boxes it all went. After a dozen years as a city prosecutor, a dozen years gutting out the worst of the worst cases, a dozen years in the voracious maw, Brendan O'Malley had decided to move on. There is never an easy time to leave one's calling, and it was a decision the East Falls father of two had suffered through.
July 16, 2015 |
Near the end of President Obama's speech Tuesday before the NAACP convention, Jeffrey Copeland heard the president tell the thousands at the Convention Center how the Francisville man had been arrested six times before his 35th birthday. Copeland, a 39-year-old full-time criminology student at Temple University, was stunned. "I didn't know that he was going to put it out like that," Copeland said Tuesday night. "I got a little choked up. It's one thing to hear yourself say it. It's one thing to say it to another person.
July 16, 2015 |
JEFF COPELAND prefers to take his runs outside, on the streets of Francisville. "You get to be a part of humanity that way," Copeland said last night. "You get to see what's going on. " It's an appropriate observation, given the last four years - the time since his release from prison. Copeland, 39, was thrust into the spotlight yesterday when President Obama met with him and then mentioned him by name as an example in his address to the NAACP national convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
July 3, 2015 |
What used to be a bare pool deck at Francisville Playground in North Philadelphia was reminiscent Wednesday of a small beach scene: Neighborhood children splashed in the water, and their parents lounged alongside palm trees, umbrellas, and an elevated seating area that looked something like a boardwalk. Just last week, a group of designers, urban planners, and city officials had transformed the public pool's facade. Using funds from a $297,000 grant from the Miami-based Knight Foundation, local urban planner Ben Bryant and his team brought in greenery and seating areas to redesign the space, dubbing it the "Pop-Up Pool" project.
June 17, 2015 |
IN SOME Philadelphia neighborhoods, economic revitalization is in full bloom, with new housing springing up like colorful flowers. But those flowers often come with price tags that put them far out of reach for the average city dweller. That's why city officials yesterday gathered on a vacant city-owned lot in Francisville to announce the latest step in a plan to make new housing units affordable to more people in areas that are moving on up. "Essentially, today we're rolling out the first phase of a very aggressive plan to ensure affordability," City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
June 17, 2015 |
From his second-floor window Monday afternoon, Vincent Ean eyed the vacant lot across North 16th Street. Men in suits circled a white tent. Ean snapped a photo with his smartphone and sent it to his fiancee. Last October, they bought their condo in Francisville for $262,500. He works in marketing and telecommutes for a company in New York. Progress in Francisville, he said, is apparent on a week-to-week basis. "It's growing," Ean said. "There are so many other neighborhoods in Philly.
March 28, 2015 |
Five days after Christmas, Tommy Joshua received an e-mail from a Philadelphia Housing Authority official that threatened to bulldoze the preceding three years of his life. The agency would be testing soil on land it owned in Sharswood, a neighborhood defined by its two 18-story project towers and the expanse of vacant land that surrounds them. Joshua put on his boots. With a dozen neighbors Jan. 6, he walked five blocks to prevent the PHA from digging into its own property at 24th and Bolton Streets, once an eyesore and now something promising, named North Philly Peace Park.
January 26, 2015 |
Land values in Philadelphia's Francisville neighborhood are beginning to take off, and MJL Properties is capitalizing on that trend. Real estate developer Michael J. Loonstyn, wife Andrea and father William run the family business, MJL Properties, out of offices in Francisville that are on the ground floor of their newest apartment complex, at 831-849 N. 19th St. Francisville's boundaries run east-west from Corinthian Avenue to Broad Street and...
October 14, 2014 |
DRIVING your car in Center City on a weeknight. Fairly safe situation, right? Not for a Fairmount couple who police say were attacked by a small group of rampaging punks on bicycles at 18th and Lombard streets. Cops say the driver and his wife, both 31, were stopped at a red light at 8:34 p.m. Thursday when the kids pulled up on bikes in front of the vehicle. One opened the passenger door and tried to pull the woman out. When her husband started to back up, the kids hurled rocks, causing him to strike parked vehicles, according to police.