Want to help protect historic buildings? Come to Historic Preservation Task Force meeting in West Philadelphia

Posted on 17 January 2018

Over the past few years, we’ve lost a number of historic buildings in West Philadelphia, from churches to old Victorian homes and mansions to new construction. There have been a few meetings in the area in the past year on how residents who care about protecting historic buildings and sites can get involved with the work of such organizations as Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and University City Historical Society.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, residents are invited to learn more about the Philadelphia Historic Preservation Task Force, which was created by Mayor Jim Kenney in May 2017. The meeting will take place at the Enterprise Center (4548 Market St) beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Continue Reading

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Demolition begins at 42nd and Chestnut to make room for pre-fab apartment building

Posted on 16 January 2018

Demolition of “Wash ‘n Lube” car wash has begun on the 4100 block of Chestnut Street to make room for a pre-fab 6-story 130-unit apartment building (see rendering below). The new construction is “by right”, which means it didn’t have to go through zoning or community approval. Nevertheless, the plan for the proposed building at 4125 Chestnut Street was presented at September’s Spruce Hill Community Association zoning meeting as a heads up for the community. Read more about it hereContinue Reading

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New apartment complex proposed on top of Garden Court Plaza parking garage; Community meeting next Thursday

Posted on 12 January 2018

Garden Court Flats rendering image, view from Pine Street.

Philadelphia-based developers the Post Brothers, the new owners of the Garden Court Plaza located at 47th and Pine, are proposing development of a new six-story 243-unit apartment complex, Garden Court Flats, which would be built on top of the existing one-story parking garage adjacent to the 14-story Garden Court Plaza building. The development plan was submitted to the city’s Department of Licences and Inspections, but was rejected for not conforming to the zoning code.   Continue Reading

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West Side Market kicks off on Lancaster Avenue this Friday

Posted on 11 January 2018

Second Fridays on Lancaster Avenue returns this week, and in addition to live music, art shows, film screenings, and community events will now also include a market! Join your friends and neighbors on Friday, Jan. 12, from 4-8 p.m. at The Bank (3750 Lancaster Ave) for the West Side Market featuring a dozen of local food, beverage and craft vendors, music, and Friday night fun. The market will return to The Bank every second Friday.

For more information and updates, check out the Lancaster Avenue Philly website and Facebook page.


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Popular Grave Gardeners program accepting applications for Spring 2018

Posted on 11 January 2018

The Woodlands’ Grave Gardeners program, which launched in 2016 and quickly became popular, is seeking a new group of volunteers to tend to cradle graves at the cemetery beginning this spring. These cradle graves were designed to be planters in the Victorian era, and volunteers will be tending to their assigned graves throughout the entire growing season (March – November).

Volunteers will receive guidance from the Woodlands through workshops, demonstrations and other events, as well as a wide variety of plant material. They’re also welcome to plant their own additional plants. Workshops will held in February and March to give gardeners a knowledge base for their work and more historical context for the program.  Continue Reading

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MLK Day events, volunteer opportunities (updated)

Posted on 10 January 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday, Jan. 15. Here’s a list of events and Day of Service opportunities for local residents. Visit for more volunteer opportunities in Philadelphia.

• MLK Events at Penn

Penn’s MLK Day of Service activities begin with a breakfast for volunteers, and includes a college fair, sprucing up various locations around West Philadelphia, recording audio books to promote literacy and more. It concludes with a candlelight vigil. More details can be found here.

The Day of Service kicks off Penn’s Annual MLK Symposium for Social Change, two weeks worth of events and activities (from panel discussions to film screenings to performances and lectures) that are centered around social justice. For more information, go hereContinue Reading

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Early dismissal for public schools due to freezing rain in forecast for Monday afternoon

Posted on 08 January 2018

All Philadelphia public schools will dismiss at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, due to freezing rain and sleet in the forecast for late Monday afternoon. All after-school activities including all athletic programs and professional development sessions scheduled for Monday are canceled as well. In addition, all District early childhood centers will also be closed early.


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UPDATE: Spruce Hill Zoning, Fair Districts PA West Philly meetings scheduled for tonight canceled

Posted on 08 January 2018

UPDATE (1:40 p.m.): Both meetings have been canceled due to freezing rain in the forecast for late Monday afternoon/evening. The Spruce Hill Zoning Committee meeting will be rescheduled at the earliest possible date, according to Zoning Committee chair Garry Grossbach. The Fair Districts PA meeting will be rescheduled for February. Stay tuned for more updates.

Residents are invited to get more information about development projects in Spruce Hill and how to get involved with nonpartisan group Fair Districts PA at two community meetings on Monday, Jan. 8.

4508-10 Walnut Street (Google Street View image).

A Spruce Hill Zoning Committee meeting will take place at the Spruce Hill Center (257 S. 45th St) and will inform neighborhood residents about two proposals: Conversion of three-unit building to five units at 424 S. 45th St. and conversion of nine existing apartments into 18 at 4508-10 Walnut St.

The 9,251 square feet building at 4508-10 Walnut Street is owned by Safdan Partners LLC. Eighteen units are proposed from partially on the first floor to the fourth floor of the building, which also houses two storefronts currently occupied by LULU Cafe and Hunter Gatherer Tattoo.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.  Continue Reading

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West Philadelphia Skills Initiative recruiting for Landscape Crew Members

Posted on 05 January 2018

University City District’s award-winning job training program, The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, is recruiting a new cohort of trainees for a program that includes a guaranteed job interview with a local landscaping company. From Jan. 3rd through the 26th, the program will be recruiting unemployed West Philadelphia residents for a training program with BrightView Landscapes LLC.

BrightView is a commercial landscaping company that holds over 80 percent of the landscaping contracts in University City.  Continue Reading

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Public, parochial schools to remain closed Friday due to snowstorm. UPDATE: Snow emergency will end Thursday at 8 p.m.

Posted on 04 January 2018

All Philadelphia public schools will remain closed on Friday, Jan. 5, due to heavy snowstorm that hit the area on Thursday. All after-school activities, including all athletic programs and professional development sessions scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also canceled. All District early childhood centers will also be closed.

School District headquarters will open on a two-hour delay.

All Archdiocesan high schools and parochial elementary schools will also be closed on Friday due to today’s storm.

Snow emergency for Philadelphia will end at 8 p.m. on Thursday.


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Snow emergency in effect. Is your car on a snow route? (UPDATE: Public, parochial schools to be closed Thursday)

Posted on 03 January 2018

The City of Philadelphia has issued a snow emergency effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. That means that vehicles should be moved from certain streets in the city, including the entire length of Chestnut and Walnut Streets and Woodland Avenue in West Philly.

The region is under a winter storm warning with three to six inches of snow expected.

Vehicles remaining on the emergency routes will be ticketed and towed. More info on snow emergency routes can be found here. If your car is moved, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. Do not call 911.  Continue Reading

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West Philly lawyer Jeff Curry to run for State Representative in the 188th District

Posted on 03 January 2018

Lawyer and West Philadelphia resident Jeff Curry announced this week that he is running for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 188th district as a Democrat in the May 15 primary. The announcement was made on Jan. 1 at the University City Arts League, where he addressed the crowd of over one hundred and fifty supporters, according to a press release.

The seat has been held by State Rep. James Roebuck since 1985.

Curry has been a resident of this district for the last decade. He and his wife Angela first moved to the district in 2007 to start and raise a family in the community. A father of three young children, Curry is running for office because he feels “Harrisburg does not reflect his family’s values of hard work, respect others, and equality and fairness for all.”  Continue Reading

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Where to recycle your Christmas tree

Posted on 02 January 2018

In the next couple of weeks both the City programs and local organizations are offering Christmas tree recycling opportunities to residents.

The City’s Residential Christmas Tree Recycling Program will run from Tuesday, Jan. 2 through Saturday, Jan. 13. The 29-year old program, developed by the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division, provides citizens with an environmentally beneficial alternative for the disposal of used trees.

Residents who wish to drop off their trees to be recycled may take them to the Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday.  Continue Reading

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Elderly man with dementia missing from VA Medical Center (39th and Woodland)

Posted on 31 December 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to locate an endangered missing person. Edward Sojourner, 66, went missing from VA Medical Center located on the 3900 block of Woodland Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 30, at around 10:40 p.m. Police say Mr. Sojourner, who suffers from dementia, is a patient at the facility and left it without permission.

Mr. Sojourner lives on the 5200 block of N. 6th Street but he was not found at that location, according to police.

He is 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 198 pounds. He was wearing white Converse shoes and a beige, knee-length jacket. Anyone with information about this missing person is urged to call Southwest Detectives at 215-686-3183.

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New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day events

Posted on 30 December 2017

Check out New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events and other useful information below. Before heading out the door please make sure to dress warm since it will be extremely cold outside. Happy New Year!

Sunday, Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

You can ring in 2018 twice during SugarHouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront. There will be two free fireworks shows along the Delaware River – at 6 p.m. and midnight. For more information, go to:

Monday, Jan. 1

2018 Mummers Parade

Philadelphia’s New Year’s Day tradition lives on! Mummers Officials and the city decided that the 2018 Mummers Parade will be held as scheduled on New Year’s Day despite the frigid temperatures. The city is planning to have heating tents and warm buses along the route for the Mummers. The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. at City Hall and will end sometime before 6 p.m. at Broad St. and Washington Ave.  Continue Reading

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Friday morning fire on 4900 block of Chestnut Street (updated)

Posted on 29 December 2017

Fire crews battled a two-alarm fire on the 4900 block of Chestnut Street on Friday morning. The fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. on the second floor of a two-story row house at 4937 Chestnut St. The fire was brought under control at around 12:30 p.m.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to reports.

A SEPTA bus has been positioned at 50th and Chestnut to provide relief to anyone displaced by the fire and for the fire crews working in frigid conditions.

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Benefit concert, Watch Night for Racial Justice, on New Year’s Eve

Posted on 28 December 2017

On New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31), neighbors and guests are invited to the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (38th and Chestnut) for “Watch Night for Racial Justice” – an evening of jazz that will benefit interfaith organization P.O.W.E.R. (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild).

The event is in response to the alarming increase in racist violence and injustice over the past year. It celebrates the tradition of “Watch Night” which began on New Year’s Eve 1863 in black churches throughout the nation awaiting the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1864.  Continue Reading

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Police shoot, critically injure robbery suspect at 49th and Walnut

Posted on 26 December 2017

A robbery suspect was shot and critically wounded by a plainclothes police officer near 49th and Walnut Streets on Tuesday morning, according to reports.

Plainclothes police officers pursued an unidentified male suspect after he allegedly robbed a deli at 52nd and Irving Streets at around 9 a.m. The man reportedly got into a black Chevy SUV near 52nd and Hazel Streets. During the pursuit, the suspect’s SUV collided with another car at 49th and Walnut Street.

After the collision, one of the officers approached the suspect’s car and identified himself, according to a report by NBC Philadelphia, and then shot the suspect once in the chest after he didn’t comply. The suspect reportedly made a motion toward his waistband.  Continue Reading

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Holiday closings, schedule changes – Dec. 24-Jan. 1

Posted on 22 December 2017

Clark ParkBelow is information on schedule changes for SEPTA and city services and special hours and closings at some local shops, cafes and restaurants. We’ll update this post when more information becomes available. If you want to add your business hours, please do so in the comments below. Information on holiday events can be found here. Happy Holidays!


Buses (except Route 204), Trains, and Trolleys will operate on a SUNDAY schedule on Christmas Day (Monday, Dec. 25) and on New Year’s Day. Customers should check the timetables for specific holiday service information.  Continue Reading

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