​ Sweet Home Philadelphia

I designed my Exhibit to show how my neighborhood has changed over time. In my opinion making an exhibit was a better way to engage an audience without boring them. I wanted to portray the idea and physical representations of the way the streets were many years ago. So I tired to resemble with the floor map the main idea of what South Philadelphia would be 60 years ago. But before that I went back in time further to when it all began in 1638. 

    Time Line: My time line for South Philadelphia starts back to about 300 years ago when most of the information started to be documented. In 1638 the first Swedish colonists arrived in Wilmington, Delaware. Following them the Europeans settled. The Dutch and English colonists were spread all over the Delaware Valley. The second group of Swedish colonists made a colony that consisted of immigrants in 1642.

Weccace was the name of that province and the Lenni Lenape named it. The meaning of it meant “peaceful place”. This “peaceful place” only was extended between the boundaries of the Delaware River at Trenton down to the Delaware Bay. In 1654 the Swedish and the Lenape both signed a Compact that bounded them to friendship. It was made to reinforce fair and respectful relations when it came time to trade but this compact only involved them.

Before the British came, in 1650 the Dutch were the only people that took a brief ownership of Weccacoe. Year 1677 the Swedish lead their first Christian worship in a blockhouse. To reach the destination they had to sail up the Delaware River every week.

Then in 1682 William Penn was able to establish this land only after making a negotiation of a treaty with the Lenni Lenape. Weccaoe became known as Southwark; this area was divided in to communities. The east side was named Passyunk, which meant “in the valley”. As for the west side it was named Moyamensing which meant “pigeon droppings’ and the first shipment of African slaves arrived on the Isabella in Philadelphia in 1684.

The Pennsylvania assembly aiming for the freedom of African Americans passed “The Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” in 1780 and runaway slaves. In 1787 Richard Allen became the attraction for African American settlement. He then founded The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was located between South and Lombard 5th to 7th street. Which is now known as the “Cedar Street Corridor”. Philadelphia then became the most important seaport on the American continent. In 1793 about 10,000 plus Philadelphia plus were forced to evacuate the city, due to the first American yellow fever epidemic that made its why through.

19th Century

During the 1800’s some Southern Italians began to migrate to the Bella Vista, which is near, happens to be near the 9th Street Market. As a resulted to that the West side of 6th to11th Street became full of Italians. Until 1910 when most of the Italian immigrants started to go to New York City then took the train to Philadelphia.

In 1801 the Navy Yard at Federal Street along the Delaware River was established but the U.S government. It was to build the U.S naval fleet and the Federal Navy Yard continued to build more ships at that location. Until 1875 when the Navy yard relocated itself, to Broad Street at the League Island. Assembling ships until it closed down in 1996. Today about eighty companies now reside in the 1,200-acre yard; has been remade into a retail, entertainment complex. In 1842 a lot of riots started to occur on Lombard Street and more than 1,000 African Americas partook in a parade that was to pay tribute to the 8th anniversary of the abolition of the slavery in the West Indies. Due to that parade with the American Americans an Irish mob attacked them and burned down the Second African Presbyterian Church on Lombard Street. As a result a Quaker philanthropist established the Institution for the Colored on 915 Bainbridge Street. This noble institute taught classical languages, literature, philosophy and mathematics. Eventually the school moved in 1902 to Chester Country, PA and then became the Cheney University. Which made it the oldest legendary African American college in America. In 1845 as a result of the riots, the districts of spring, Moyamensing and Northern Liberties were all obligated to assemble a police enterprise.

          In 1871 the first professional Philadelphia Fire Department was organized and replaced the city’s volunteer fire companies, which started back in the 18th century. The companies of the Irish Democrats or Nativist Republican often worked as if they were street gangs, challenging one another for turf.

From 1800-1920 is when all the different nationalities started to settle closer to and or within my neighborhood. The Eastern European immigrants and Jewish began to settle along Lombard and South Streets. 1887 the Lebanese immigrants started to settle around 10th and Ellsworth Street. The Polish immigrants began settling between Catharine and Christian, on Front and Second Street in 1890. In 1910 along 9th Street was where many of the Italian immigrants sold many goods such as meat, fruits and vegetables. The first Vietnamese immigrants arrived in 1975. They began to establish community organizations and businesses along Washington Ave and 8th Street.

Then in 1992 more Southeast Asian immigrants such as Cambodians arrived and started to cluster around 7th and Wolf, which was considered to be mainly a Jewish neighborhood. In the 2000’s some more immigrants that where mainly from Mexico and Asia began to settle more. The more people Philly received the more the living became lively, with rising real estate and lowering -income residents pushing the immigrants away from Center City an into the neighborhoods South of Washington and Snyder avenue, which is my neighborhood region.

The Interviews

            The way I conducted my interview was first by telling what my project was about then asking questions and writing down the answer. The two people chosen knew more information than I expected them to. So during the interview it was only necessary of me to ask a few questions. As the interviews when on a lot of other information was giving. When one questions was asked around the topic was giving. In other words unasked question were answered too. But I did some questions as the interviews went on, to clarify or to gain specific detail.

Starter Questions Q: Did any major events have an affect on you in the South Philadelphia neighborhood?Q: Did you visit to the area as a child and do you now as an adult visit the area?Q: Did you or did you have family and friends who lived in the neighborhood?

Date of the first interview: 10/18/11__I first interviewed my neighbor Lorraine Tartaglio She has lived in south Philly all her life, so she has seen more of the changes.

·       ·               Twenty to thirty years ago most of this area was filled with the Italian, polish and Jewish people.

·       ·               All of Darien street at from 9 and Oregon to 9th and Shunk where Greenwich homes for the mentally ill.

·       ·               What seem to bring all the people together was drugs.

·       ·               On the side of Oregon where Darien and Shunk is was built over a swamp.

·       ·               The area on Oregon where the School D. Newlin Fell is and Thomas was built over a cemetery.

·       ·               Certain parts belonged to different races.

·       ·               Board and South to front and south was all housing, nothing compared to the way it is today.

·       2nd Street and Front Street were the Irish.

·       10th and Carpenter were the Italians

·       9th and Darien were the Jewish.

·       ·               Broad Street was a place you needed money to be on, it was where the movies and entertainment use to be and that was mainly Italian.  

·       ·               Patterson Ave. was where the cars would drag race before the stadiums were built.

·       ·               Her best friend was an African American girl named Linda and it was not always easy to play with her because when ever she would go to see her. Some of the people from Linda’s neighborhood would want and try to fight Lorraine.

·       ·               People knew who didn’t belong in their neighborhood and if they didn’t know you or knew you didn’t know someone that would fight you until you left.

·       “As little as we had, everybody was happy”. - Lorraine Tartaglio
Date of the second interview 10/22/11

·       ·               Second I interviewed was with DennisTerico he was one who also lived in South Philly all of his life.

·       ·               1963 he went to Thomas high school and there were mainly Italian and Irish people.

·       ·               All African American people were considered to be colored people.

·       Front to 4th street were mostly the Irish and Polish

·       4th to 6th were the Puerto Ricans

·       8th to 12th, Broad were the Italians.

·       ·               As young teens if they stood on the corner the cops would pick them up take all their wallets and money. Drop them off at Delaware ave. so when they walked back to where they were. Having to walk through all the other different neighborhoods and fight their way through.

·       ·               At 8th an wolf that was a African American school with only 6 white people attended one of which was Dennis and the other 5 where his brothers.

·       ·               1964 he and his friends use to dress as rag time people and paint their faces black but then there were riots because they were not allowed in the parade with the black faces.

·       ·               9th street with Bok and 10th and Biglar would have riots.

·       ·               10th and Packer ave. use to be horse stables it was there for about 20 years then it burnt down in 1967 and people could hear the animals cry from 9 an wolf.

Civic Association

The closet Civic Association near me is Passyunk Square Civic Association  (PSCA) Is the closet one I have in my neighborhood, it was founded since 2004. I sent them an e-mail but I never received a reply. So I did the next best thing a teen could do, FACEBOOK! After doing that I received some information about their projects.

Contact: mnlogreco@gmail.com

Some projects they had:

·              “Event: Columbus Square Park Fall Flea Market

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: 7am to 1pm

Location: 12th and Wharton

Details: Reserve a space for your table for $20 or get two spaces for $30. You can also donate your stuff to sell at the Columbus Square Park table. They are also seeking volunteers to help out during that time with set up and clean-up AND donations of baked goods for the bake sale.”

·            “Event: Halloween Pumpkin Fest

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: 10am to 12pm

Location: 12th between Wharton and Reed

Details: Event will include pumpkin decorating for kids (pumpkins and paint provided), a children’s costume parade, candy and treats.”

·      “The Friends of the South Philly Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia presents a FREE Pumpkin Painting event on Saturday, October 22 at 11am.

·      Paint your own pumpkin at the South Philly Branch Library. Pumpkins, paint and treats will be provided. Unfortunately, large groups cannot be accommodated. Pumpkins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis so arrive as close to 11am as you can.”

Volunteer w/ buildOn

I asked Crystal a few questions about buildOn. What major projects does buildOn have? What did she consider to be a major project? Did she mind telling me about Halloween Festival, because I know that is something that is does annually? Also, what did you enjoy about the specific UnLitter us on 10/15/11? That was the event I attended myself so I wanted another perspective not just my own.

Here was here response:

“We have two regional service projects every year (one in the fall and one in the spring). Those are our biggest projects and they are not always the same kind of project.  We also have some service projects that continue to be very popular every year:  definitely the Halloween festival, the Autism Walk, the AIDS Walk, the Beach Sweep in New Jersey. A major project is a project that we do consistently every year and brings a lot of students out. I thought the UnLitter Us project was awesome for a couple of reasons. I think it was wonderful for the guest speakers at the beginning of the event took notice of all of the buildOn students that had come out ready to help out.  It was also a great project because there was a clear need.  The volunteers got a lot done and really helped to clean up the area.  People in the neighborhoods took notice of the volunteers and thanked them for their hard work.  Lastly, I love when 50 teenagers from all across the city and from almost a dozen different schools can work together to make an impact.”  - Crystal Collins, PA Program & Service Coordinator





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