Archives: July 2013

Neighborhood Profile: PENNSPORT

Posted on: July 29, 2013


History:  According to the Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions, Pennsport was originally 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 mostly contained in the First Ward. The First and Second Wards ran east of Passyunk Avenue and were divided by Wharton St. (First to the south, Second to the north). The southern boundary of the First Ward initially spanned south to the river, but it was stopped at Mifflin St. in 1898.

Pennsport is a riverfront enclave that’s been building up exciting momentum in recent years. The influx of energy is welcome in a neighborhood already rich in Philly tradition.

The stretch between Front and Third, better known as “Two Street,” is the home of the Mummers, the bedazzled paraders who’ve been tearing up Broad Street on New Year’s Day for more than 100 years. Mummer clubs and pubs blend into the neighborhood’s quaint, narrow, well-maintained blocks in this historically residential part of town.

A growing number of new restaurateurs and shop owners are breathing new energy into the area, helping expand the neighborhood’s already robust identity.

A network of quiet, safe streets, Pennsport is not most convenient neighborhood to access via public transport, though buses do run north-south on Front and Moyamensing and east-west on three streets below Washington Avenue. The unorthodox nature of Pennsport’s more prominent corridors, especially the diagonally oriented Moyamensing, can make driving a little murky for the unfamiliar, though it’s close to 95 and there is typically street parking. (Visit Philly, Wikipedia)

Boundaries: Snyder Avenue to the south, Washington Avenue to the north, The Delaware River to the east, Fourth Street to the west.

Zip Codes: 19147, 19148.

More Information: Pennsporter, Naked Philly.

Schools: Abigail Vare, George SharswoodFurness Horace High School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA 57 Bus Line


Philadelphia Food Truck Finder

Posted on: July 25, 2013

(Taken from

Philadelphia’s ever-expanding food truck scene is clearly having a moment. Not only are more awesome trucks rolling in every week, but new food truck gathering spots seem to be popping up just as quickly!

So, just as we wanted to help you stay current on some of the best food trucks in Philadelphia, now we want to help you know when and where to find food trucks across the city.

To that end, we’ve compiled the major recurring food truck gathering spots and organized them by day of the week.

We’ve included spots at which food trucks gather at various times of the day — during lunch breaks, snack breaks, dinnertime and even late-night — and specify that time-of-day info in each listing.

But since food trucks are mobile by nature, always be sure to check your favorite food truck’s Twitter and Facebook pages before visiting in the case of cancellations (i.e. holidays or rain).

Read on for our full day-by-day FOOD TRUCK FINDER.


Neighborhood Profile: EAST OAK LANE

Posted on: July 22, 2013

History:  Settled in 1683, East Oak Lane, located at “The Northern Gates of Philadelphia”, is William Penn’s first neighborhood- his first “Green Country Town.” Rich with history, gorgeous architecture, green space and cultural diversity, this neighborhood is truly a jewel in the crown of Philadelphia.

Convenient to the newly restored Melrose Park Train station, Fernrock Subway Station and many bus lines- residents have access to all the City of Philadelphia has to offer, yet they enjoy the quiet and beauty of a suburban environment.

The vision of William Penn to create a pastoral oasis for city dwellers is shared by the residents of East Oak Lane. Neighbors are passionate about preservation of their beautiful landscaping and their rich Philadelphia architecture. This community comes together to celebrate their shared respect for the “quality of life” of all of its neighbors. As a result, East Oak Lane continues to attract Philadelphia’s great minds and talents who love to call this neighborhood their home.

Boundaries: Cheltenham Avenue at the north, Broad Street on the west, Godfrey Avenue at the south, and North 5th Street to the east.

Zip Codes: 19126, 19141.

More Information: East Oak Lane Community Action Association, Oak Lane Tree Tenders, Friends of the Oak Lane Library.

Schools: Ellwood School, Philadelphia High School For Girls, Central High School, St. Helena’s.

Public Transportation: Melrose Park Station, Fern Rock Station.


Former church in Germantown to house school

Posted on: July 19, 2013

This article quotes Elfant Wissahickon’s own Christopher Plant, REALTOR, who brokered the sale of the school:

The sanctuary is gutted. The stained-glass windows, including two Tiffanys and two by Violet Oakley, are gone, safe in the arms of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The altar and reredos, carved from Caen stone in 1896 by a Germantown craftsman named William J. Grueler at a cost of $2,500 ($70,000 in 2013 dollars), sit almost unnoticed in the darkened sanctuary. Things might have been worse for the 140-year-old St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, at Wayne Avenue and Harvey Street in Germantown, shuttered since April 2005, when its dwindling congregation found it impossible to keep up the four buildings and two-acre site.

Two of those buildings were “just a couple of years away from complete collapse,” said developer Ken Weinstein, who has been rehabbing and repurposing old buildings in the region since 1989. Weinstein has partnered with the Waldorf School of Philadelphia to acquire St. Peter’s from the Diocese of Pennsylvania and renovate it as ths school’s permanent home, which is expected to open for the 2014-15 academic year, he said. Sale of the property from the diocese closed in June for $435,000. The project cost, including renovation, will total $5 million, said Weinstein, who will lease the property to the school with an eye toward eventual sale.

St. Peter’s buildings were designed by architects Frank Furness and George Wattson Hewitt and built between 1873 and 1883. The church, on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, is part of the Tulpehocken Station Historic District, which includes such gems as the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion. There is a rectory that the Rev. Judith Beck, who was priest in charge of St. Peter’s from 1990 to 1999, said was designed by Furness himself, while the Gothic-style church, chapel, and parish house were Hewitt’s work.

Waldorf, which educates children from nursery school through middle school, opened in 1996. It has rented space on the New Covenant Church campus on Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy, “but has outgrown it,” said Alexandra Borders, director of admissions at the local school, one of 900 Waldorf schools worldwide. The idea of St. Peter’s kept circling back, Borders said, but “we couldn’t afford it on our own.” Weinstein, whose Trolley Car Diner is across the street from the school, was “the final piece of the puzzle,” she said. Beck knew Waldorf was interested in St. Peter’s, and was “thrilled” that one of Furness & Hewitt’s “finest church buildings” would be preserved. The diocese is obligated to replace the glass in the windows of the sanctuary, which will be used by the school as its “Great Hall” meeting space, he said.

Renovation efforts will focus on reducing the heating and cooling costs, said Weinstein, who has projects elsewhere in Philadelphia as well as in Upper Darby, Norristown, and Flourtown. Borders said that solving the space problem has led the school to reach out to prospective students and their families farther out from Northwest Philadelphia and into Center City. Borders believes many newer families would be interested in buying properties in the surrounding neighborhood.

Elfant Wissahickon real estate agent Christopher Plant, who brokered the sale of the school, said that some parents are thinking of moving close by, and many already live there. “There is optimism about the neighborhood, and this kind of investment is already having a ripple effect,” Plant said. Ruth Feldman, an agent with Weichert Realtors/McCarthy Group, said the median sales price has increased in both the first and second quarters of this year, closed sales are up, and average days on market are down. Prices range to the high $200,000s for twins and high $400,000s for singles.

Neighborhood Profile: PASSYUNK SQUARE

Posted on: July 15, 2013

History:  Passyunk Square traces its roots to Colonial times, when Gen. George Washington housed many of his soldiers on the 800 and 900 blocks of Federal. Passyunk Avenue from Tasker to Broad got its start as an upscale shopping mecca. Restaurants, specialty food stores, pharmacies, furniture shops, clothing and shoe and jewelry stores dotted the avenue, just as they do now. In 2002, a city ordinance created the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, which was modeled after merchant-funded initiatives in Center City and Manayunk.  Major landmarks of the neighborhood include East Passyunk Avenue; the Lower Italian Market, said to be the country’s oldest open-air market, Ninth from Washington to Wharton; Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, Ninth and Passyunk and the fountain at the junction of Passyunk, 11th and Tasker. (South Philly Review)

Boundaries: Broad Street to the west, 6th street to the east, Tasker to the south and Washington to the north.

Zip Codes:  19147.

What to See / Do: Visit East Passyunk

More Information: PSCA

Schools: Andrew Jackson (K-8)Eliza Kirkbride (K-8)George Washington (K-8)Southwark (K-8)South Philadelphia (9-12)Neumann Goretti High School, Christopher Columbus Charter School.


Neighborhood Profile: LAFAYETTE HILL

Posted on: July 8, 2013

History:  Lafayette Hill is a small unincorporated community in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Lafayette Hill draws its name from the French General Marquis de Lafayette, who stayed there during the American Revolution. 

Prior to general decampment from Valley Forge in the spring of 1778, George Washington dispatched an estimated 2200 troops under the command of Marquis de Lafayette to act as a defensive screen and to conduct reconnaissance of the British army, which had garrisoned in Philadelphia for the winter. The two forces had a brief engagement at nearby Barren Hill. 

Some famous individuals from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania include: Terrence Howard, John Salmons.  (Wikipedia)

Boundaries: Lafayette Hill is just west of Chestnut Hill and south of Plymouth Meeting.

Zip Codes:  19444.

What to See / Do: Trip Advisor

More Information: Whitemarsh Township

Schools: Colonial School District


Fourth of July in Philadelphia Filled with Many Exciting Options!

Posted on: July 4, 2013

In case you may have forgotten, Philadelphia, our fair city, also happens to be the cradle of liberty and birthplace of America! That places it as THE go-to destination for Fourth of July fun! Each year, it seems there are more and more options for Independence Day excitement and this year is no exception. From Chestnut Hill to Center City, here are some of our picks:

Chestnut Hill’s Fourth of July Celebration at the Water Tower: The 97th Anniversary of this venerable Fourth of July parade and festival.

Welcome America / Fourth of July Jam: The crown jewel of Philly’s Fourth of July lineup. This year’s concert features the Roots, John Mayer and many more!

Independence Week at The Constitution CenterCelebrate American independence with an array of fun, family-friendly activities, including Colonial-era demonstrations, interactive educational programs, and patriotic craft stations.

Philly Orchestra’s free concert at Penn’s LandingThe Philadelphia Orchestra returns for its sixth summer to the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing!

Taste of Philadelphia concert and fireworksOne of the highlights of Welcome America, Taste of Philadelphia is a weekend celebration on Penn’s Landing with incredible food, entertainment, fireworks and more!

Neighborhood Profile: GIRARD ESTATE

Posted on: July 1, 2013

History:  Girard Estate is named after Stephen Girard, whose South Philadelphia property was developed in the 1920s by the City of Philadelphia. 

Girard’s country home was on a plot of land he named Gentilhommiere in what was formerly called Passyunk Township of Philadelphia County. He was likely the richest man in the United States when he died in 1831, and he left most of his $6 million estate to the City of Philadelphia.

Girard’s will stated that Gentilhommiere must not be sold. To meet the second stipulation, the Board of City Trusts, trustee of the Girard Estate, developed 481 rental homes which became the Girard Estate homes.

Most of the semi-detached homes were designed by architects John and James Windrim, and 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 1950, the city received permission to sell all 481 homes to private owners. All the homes were sold within two years.

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.

Today, Girard Estate is a mostly Italian American neighborhood, with a smaller Irish population. (Wikipedia)

Boundaries: 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 but its northern boundary is irregular in stretching 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.

Zip Codes:  19145.

What to See / Do: Stephen Girard Park, Vendemmia Festival, Girard Estate Historic District.

More Information: Girard Estate Neighborhood Association.

Schools: Girard Academic Music Program, Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, Stephen Girard Elementary School, St. Monica School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s Bus Route 7, Broad Street Line.