Archive | March, 2015

Petition in support of opening two pre-schools at 47th and Kingsessing (updated)

March 31, 2015

Church 1

Renovation underway at 47th and Kingsessing.

Neighbors backing the plan to bring two pre-schools to the recently purchased church building at 47th and Kingsessing are collecting signatures for a zoning change that would help make the plan a reality.

Back in January we reported that the 114-year-old Frank Furness-designed church building at 47th and Kingsessing was undergoing renovation thanks to local developer Guy Laren, who bought the deteriorating building and saved it from demolition. Laren’s plans include opening two pre-schools that would occupy about 40 percent of the large building after the renovation has been completed. The schools are Little Learners, currently located next to Four Worlds Bakery on the 4600 block of Woodland Avenue and Children’s Community School, currently in the basement of Calvary Center at 48th and Baltimore. Relocation to the church building would allow both schools to expand and accept more kids for the next school year.

The petition can be downloaded here. Supporters are asking those interested to sign the petition and drop it off at Four Worlds Bakery, 4634 Woodland (you can put it in the mailbox if the shop is closed). You can also show your support for the zoning changes at the Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing on April 15 at 2 p.m. The address is 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor. Guy Laren and the directors of Little Learners and Children’s Community School are expected to be at the hearing.

UPDATE: There’s also an online version of the petition on

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Annual Easter Egg Hunts return this weekend

March 31, 2015

egg huntEaster is approaching fast, and many parents and guardians are looking for information about Easter egg hunts in the area. Annual egg hunts at places like Clark Park, St. Mary’s Church, Walnut St West Library and more will be held again this year. Details are below. If you know of any other local Easter egg hunts not included in the list please email us at or post information in the comments section below.



10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Spring Egg Hunts at Walnut Street West Library (40th and Walnut)

Two egg hunts will be held behind the library: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Spring Egg Hunt for preschoolers. 1-2:30 p.m. – Spring Egg Hunt for kids ages 6 and up. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Walnut St West Library.


11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park (43rd and Chester)

Renewal Presbyterian Church is having its annual Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park (next to the toddler playground) on Saturday, April 4. Families, friends and all neighbors are invited to join them for an egg hunt, crafts, and fun in the park! The egg hunt is for children ages 1-8 (please sign up at the beginning of the event). There will also be a raffle basket giveaway from local West Philly venues.

12:30 – 2 p.m.

Woodland Presbyterian Church Easter Egg Hunt (42nd and Pine)

1:00 p.m. – Registration
1:15 p.m. – Children 5 and under
1:30 p.m. – Children 6 and over

Free pretzels, crafts, children’s bibles, and treats.  Continue Reading

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Philly’s first bike share program to launch on April 23; signup now available

March 30, 2015


Finally, we have the launch date for Philadelphia’s inaugural bike share program, Indego. Mayor Michael Nutter announced today that the program will kick off on April 23, 2015. The festive kick-off event will take place on that day, starting at noon, at Eakins Oval in Center City. Indego members will also hop on their bikes at the event and demonstrate how to ride them. Another preview event will be held on Thursday, April 2 from noon to 2 p.m. at Paine Plaza across from City Hall. During the event, a docking station and bikes will be on display, and visitors can try the system, find out about membership options, and purchase memberships.

Starting today, memberships are available from, and users are encouraged to sign up before the April 23rd launch. A few membership plans are available. Indego30 ($15 per month) is a 30-day membership plan that provides members unlimited one-hour rides (you can pay with a credit or debit card, or cash). With a pay-as-you-ride option, you pay only for the rides you take (each Indego station has a kiosk for payment).

The bike share stations will operate 24 hours a day all year round at 70 locations across the city. Here’s the map of the docking stations in West Philly (click here to access the full map):


For more information, visit the Indego website.

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Fantastic new public space in the works at Lea School; here’s how you can help

March 30, 2015

Some of the naming opportunities in the Greening Lea project. Click to enlarge.

Some of the naming opportunities in the Greening Lea project. Click to enlarge.


Want to make a positive, indelible mark on the neighborhood? The West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools has a way to become an important part of big undertaking. Its Greening Lea Project is offering naming opportunities for various parts of the evolving playground at the Henry Lea School.

The school’s playground was expanded last summer and a landscaped perimeter was added to part of the playground in 2012. Now coalition has its sights set on some bigger projects, including the addition of a new green stormwater infrastructure, brick pavers, large shade trees and rain gardens. New hoops will be added to the basketball court and seating will be added to the playground. The changes could make the Lea Playground a prime public recreation spot in the neighborhood.

If they can raise the money.  Continue Reading

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Friends of Walnut St. West Library seeking community feedback

March 30, 2015

walnutstlibraryfriendsA support group for a great local library is seeking feedback from community members and stakeholders that will help improve their work. The planning committee for the Friends of Walnut St West Library is asking for just five minutes of your time to share your thoughts about their work in bringing library services, programs and events in an online survey. The results of the survey will help shape the Friends’ support of the library over the next three to five years.

“The more we can learn about why or how people use the library (or don’t) and what community interests the library might meet, the better we can assess how to supplement the Friends’ support of the library moving forward,” the Friends of Walnut St West Library president Kathy Wheeler wrote in an email.

Another goal of the survey is to gather information on how folks learn about events so they can not only attend library programs but be able to volunteer their skills and time.  Continue Reading

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The Woodlands reaches ambitious fundraising goal, plans Mansion reconstruction

March 27, 2015


Hamilton Mansion.

Great news for the historic Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion and all those who participated in their latest ambitious fundraising effort of raising $218,000 to restore the Hamilton Stable, the only remaining outbuilding from the 18th century.

“The Woodlands community contributed over $218,000 to restore the stable’s façade – which means you helped secure an extraordinary $612,000 challenge grant to restore the [Hamilton] Mansion from the William B. Dietrich Foundation,” reads a recent message by The Woodlands Executive Director Jessica Baumert. The McLean Contributionship, Connelly Foundation, and Wunsch Foundation also provided generous support of this project.


Photos courtesy of The Woodlands.

In a addition to the restoration of the Hamilton Mansion and Stable, the re-construction of the Cryptoporticus has resumed. The contractors have been numbering each brick before removing them from the sagging arch (pictured right). Then, the 18th century bricks will be put back in their original location using a mortar.

The Woodlands also announced some new and annual programs taking place this spring (the Woodlands is located at 40th and Woodland).

Sunday, April 12 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Your West Philadelphia House: How old is it? Who lived there?

Join The University City Historical Society at The Woodlands for a “how to” workshop, and learn to research the history of your own West Philadelphia house! Uncover your house’s story!Cost: Free to members of University City Historical Society or The Woodlands, $10 for non-members. Make your reservations hereContinue Reading

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