June 2, 2014 |
It was a grand and glorious funeral, one that drew hundreds of people onto the streets to honor not a person but a house. There were tears, more than a couple. But also joy, and music and memories, all in celebration of 3711 Melon Street in West Philadelphia. The house began life 142 years ago as a stack of bricks and lumber, and was set to end it on Saturday as a dusty pile of the same, after a ritual demolition. The empty, abandoned home, its roof failing and back wall bulging, was the centerpiece of "Funeral for a Home," an arts project that paid tribute to one home as a way to recognize them all - in a city where demolitions have become commonplace.
May 13, 2014 |
The house is a wreck, all broken windows and boarded doors, soon to be torn down. But Annie Hunt remembers when the home was alive - a place of light and laughter, a haven for a mother and son. The West Philadelphia property belonged to a strong and determined woman, Hunt's aunt Leona Richardson. As a teenager in the late 1930s, Richardson struck out alone from the segregated South, leaving small-town Louisiana and making her way to Baltimore. When World War II broke out, she got a job in a defense plant as a welder.
April 29, 2014 |
MULLICA HILL More than a dozen school workers here are unsure whether they will retain their in the next school year as the Clearview Regional High School District works to finalize its budget before the adoption hearing next week. The district is considering cutting its 13 full-time custodial workers and a part-time worker at its two schools and privatizing the services. The idea has generated much opposition, largely among the local union, as well as among teachers and students.
April 18, 2014 |
WALLACE STREET was quiet yesterday. An elderly man, sunning himself on his porch, said the block, near 38th Street in Mantua, had been "deserted" since Jamara Stevens, 11, was shot to death inside one of its homes April 5. "A terrible thing, losing a child like that," he said as he sat on his property, across the street from that home. "The only people who know what happened are the ones who were there. "And God, of course. " Which explains why police have issued an arrest warrant for Stevens' mom. Tiffany Goldwire, 31, is wanted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with her daughter's death, Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said.
April 17, 2014 |
WALLACE STREET was quiet today. An elderly man, sunning himself on his porch, said the block, near 38th Street in Mantua, had been "deserted" since Jamara Stevens, 11, was shot to death inside one of its homes April 5. "A terrible thing, losing a child like that," he said as he sat on his property, across the street from that home. "The only people who know what happened are the ones who were there. "And God, of course. " Which explains why police have issued an arrest warrant for Stevens' mom. Tiffany Goldwire, 31, is wanted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with her daughter's death, Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said.
April 15, 2014
Local attractions I can't imagine telling a young person not to pursue an Ivy League education at the University of Pennsylvania because he or she grew up in South Philly ("Encourage students to skip town," April 9). Or that someone not go to Temple, Drexel, Villanova, St. Joseph's, or Rowan for the same reason. While extolling the virtue of leaving this area to experience something else, columnist Karen Heller at least could have mentioned what great opportunities abound near home both academically and culturally.
March 9, 2014 |
MANTUA Walking through trash-strewn lots and past dilapidated houses, Mayor Nutter and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante listened to officials and community leaders talk about the future transformation of Mantua. The tour was the first one for city and federal officials since President Obama designated Mantua a Promise Zone. "We will bring back Mantua," the mayor said. The one-hour jaunt, which started at 37th and Brown Streets and ended about an hour later at 35th Street and Fairmount Avenue, allowed the entourage to envision possibilities, such as a transit stop at Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Mantua Avenue, and a 10-block greenway along Mantua, a street now littered with diapers and other trash.
February 28, 2014 |
ARTIST James Dupree says that despite the city's "You're gonna love the arts in Philly" slogan, Philadelphia hasn't been showing him any love. Instead, Dupree said, he has been confronted with pain and despair over a continuing legal struggle with the city to keep his studio space in Mantua. The city Redevelopment Authority wants to take his massive, 8,600 square-foot studio building, on Haverford Avenue near 36th Street, to make room for a supermarket and parking lot. His studio is filled with 5,000 works of art - including wildly colorful pieces, mixed-media jewelry boxes with feathers, and a wall installation showing how the city helps developers take property from low-income homeowners.
February 9, 2014 |
The federal government says a new designation as a "Promise Zone" holds the possibility of transforming a big, ailing chunk of West Philadelphia. Robert Morris Skaler can remember when the area didn't need a zone to have promise. He was born there, grew up there, and forever after remained interested in the place and its potential. As a boy, he lived on the boundary of Mantua and Belmont, an area that in the 1940s held not just a healthy middle-class population but something that to him was more intriguing: a stock of big Victorian and Italianate houses, the envy of any in Philadelphia.
January 28, 2014 |
James Dupree says city officials are trying to pave paradise and put up a supermarket. Dupree, a renowned Philadelphia artist, is embroiled in a bitter back-and-forth with the city over the fate of his art studio, an 8,600-square-foot building that takes up nearly a block along Haverford Avenue in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia. The property was seized in December 2012 by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. The authority condemned a two-block stretch through eminent domain, a legal process that allows government to take private property, pay the owner, and develop the land for public use. When the authority seized the Mantua property, it said the surrounding neighborhood was in desperate need of a supermarket.