The Woodlands reaches ambitious fundraising goal, plans Mansion reconstruction

Posted on 27 March 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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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, 40th St concert series and more popular events returning this summer

Posted on 26 March 2015


Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll (Photo courtesy UCD)

Here’s some great news to drive your cold spring weather blues away. The University City District has announced the return of their signature events, including the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, University City Dining Days and 40th Street Summer Concert Series!

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, where dozens of neighborhood businesses present a variety of $1 items and deals, including food, beer, event tickets and vouchers, will return on Thursday, June 25. The second Dollar Stroll is scheduled for September 24. Dollar Strolls take place along Baltimore Avenue, between 43rd and 51st streets, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition to the Dollar Stroll, another popular event is coming back this summer – the 40th Street Summer Series will be held the last Saturday of the month, from May to September, in the campus green space near 40th and Locust. We’ll post more information on the performances when it becomes available.

More than 30 of University City’s best restaurants will participate in the 11th annual University City Dining Days, which runs July 16 through the 28th. As usual, the deal includes three courses for three prices.

There is also a rumor that UCD will bring back its summer film series, which was a big hit back in the summer of ’13. We are still trying to nail down the details on that though. We’ll keep you posted.

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The Workshop School to stage a modern version of Antigone at Curio on Friday

Posted on 25 March 2015

Ninth graders at The Workshop School, a new city high school that emphasizes a hands-on problem-solving curriculum, have made Antigone their own.

They have been working on a production of the timeless Theban play since February and announced that they will stage the play on Friday, March 27 at the Curio Theatre Company (4740 Baltimore Ave). The production has been student-led from start to finish.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 1.01.19 PM“This project shows how unique and creative we can be and that teenagers can use their great minds to create great things,” said 9th grader Casirae Hayward-Gaymon. “We worked really hard and for us being young adults we feel inspired by our work and are excited to show people what we accomplished.”

The students have worked on the finer points with theater professionals from Philadelphia Young Playwrights and Curio and have attended some performances to learn more. They divided themselves into five groups to produce the play: Arts Administration, Lighting and Sound, Costume and Makeup, Acting, and Set Design.

“I have never been prouder of a group of students. I think that this play is so powerful because it comes from their lives and their work,” said Theater teacher Kathleen Melville.

Two performances are scheduled for Friday; one at 10 a.m. and another at 6 p.m. Tickets are sliding scale: $5 to $10. No tickets will be sold at the door, so to get them you have to contact Helen Rowe at to reserve. 

“This performance will help start a tradition of 9th graders doing this project each year in our school,” said 9th grader Sadia Upshur.

Mike Lyons

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Learn more about summer jobs, programs at Parks & Rec Fair this Wednesday

Posted on 24 March 2015

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is hosting its first annual job and opportunity fair on Wednesday, March 25. The fair will include an information session on the summer employment opportunities at Parks and Recreation pools and camps. Parents and guardians can also learn more about summer camps offered by Parks and Rec.

Job opportunities are available for youth ages 14 and up. Summer camps are for ages 6 to 18.

The fair will be held at Christy Recreation Center, 728 South 55th Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. The info session is from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation website.

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Several city candidates in West Philly on Thursday for forum at USciences

Posted on 24 March 2015


Mayoral candidate Jim Kenney (Facebook photo).

The 27th Ward Democratic Executive Committee will host a forum Thursday, March 26 with candidates contending in May’s primary. The forum will include mayoral candidate and former city councilman Jim Kenney and city council candidates Blondell Reynolds Brown, Helen Gym, Ed Neilson, and W. Wilson Goode, Jr., Paul Steinke, and Sherrie Cohen.

The public is welcome to attend this meeting, which will take place at Rosenberger Hall at the University of the Sciences (600 S. 43rd Street, near Woodland Ave.), starting at 7:30 p.m.

This forum was originally scheduled for March 5 but was cancelled due to snow.

The primary election will be held May 19 and the general election is slated for Nov. 3. You can get up to speed on the council and mayoral candidates on the Committee of Seventy website.

Mike Lyons

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Spruce Hill zoning, Garden Court community meetings this week

Posted on 17 March 2015

Two important and informative community events are happening this week in the Spruce Hill and Garden Court neighborhoods.

On Wednesday, March 18, the Spruce Hill Zoning Committee will be meeting at 6:45 p.m. at the Spruce Hill center, 257 S. 45th Street, to discuss a number of applications for development in the area. Cases will be heard in this order:

• 217 S. 42nd Street–application for a two-family dwelling
• 4030 Spruce Street–application for fraternity housing
• 400 S. 45th Street–increase in square footage allowed and increase number of permitted units from 12 to 19.
• 18, 20, 22 S. 43rd Street–application to increase maximum occupied area plus relief from five required parking spots (application is for relocation of lot lines from three to one in order to erect a structure for religious and educational use, connected to an existing structure).
• Presentation for feedback on possible development at 4415 Chestnut back to 4412 Ludlow by Scott Orens.  Continue Reading

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