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New music venue to rock West Philly

Posted on 20 January 2017 by ranafayez

Photo courtesy of REC Philly.

As the state of music venues in West Philly stands, house shows reign supreme while The Rotunda and World Cafe Live are really the only two music venues in this part of town. Unlike in Callowhill and Center City, there are few choices for local musicians and touring acts to play in West Philly.

Here’s where Live! at William Street Common comes in. When the restaurant opened a little under a year ago at 3900 Chestnut Street, it was focused on pioneering their “flat pricing” concept. Since then, the communal dining restaurant and bar cut down on business hours and invited event management company REC Philly to spearhead its music series. The company also manages events at the Screening Room in Manayunk.

What’s the plan for this space in particular?  Continue Reading

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Learn about development plans for Hawthorne Hall and the United Bank building tonight

Posted on 19 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Here’s an opportunity to learn about future development of two properties in Powelton Village – Hawthorne Hall and the United Bank building. People’s Emergency Center (PEC) will present updates on the potential uses of these two properties at tonight’s community meeting, and neighbors are invited to participate in the visioning process.

The meeting will be held at the United Bank building (3750 Lancaster Ave.), beginning at 7 p.m.

Hawthorne Hall (3849 Lancaster Ave) was built in 1895 and serves as a landmark for the Powelton Village/Mantua neighborhoods. Now vacant property is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. It was bought by the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) in 2012 for $385,000.

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Have you seen “Panda”? (Update: Found!)

Posted on 19 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

UPDATE (5:25 p.m.): Panda has been found and is back home!

“Panda”, a black and white, 43lb, neutered male Australian cattle dog, is missing in West Philadelphia. He was last seen on Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. on Chester Ave near the 49th Street Regional Rail station. He’s with a stubby tail and has no collar (he slipped out).

He is very shy and will likely run if approached or chased. He may come to you, however, if you get down on a knee and allow him to approach.

Please call Ben at 215.992.2484 if you find this dog.

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Inauguration Day in West Philly

Posted on 18 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

If you’re looking for ways to cope with the upcoming presidential inauguration (we’re in West Philly, right?), check out these local events on Friday, Jan. 20. There will be an opportunity to have a conversation with other community members, to relax with some free acupuncture treatments, and dine at a local restaurant in support of refugees.

West Philly Community Solidarity Gathering

Calvary Center for Culture and Community (48th and Baltimore)

5:30 – 8 p.m.

Join your West Philly neighbors for an evening of solidarity, connection, conversation, song and food. Everyone is welcome, including young people accompanied by parents or caregivers. The schedule includes: Gathering and Interfaith Service at 5:30 p.m; Dinner and discussion groups at 6:30 p.m.; Singing and more conversation at 7:30 p.m.

Free-will donations at the door will be collected to cover expenses and to benefit the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Suggested donation range is $5-25, and no one will be turned away due to financial restrictions.  Continue Reading

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Historical Commission designates 420-434 S. 42nd “historic district,” first in city since 2010

Posted on 17 January 2017 by Mike Lyons

The Philadelphia Historical Commission voted Friday to designate the west side of the 400 block of S. 42nd Street (420-434 S. 42nd) a historic district, a significant victory for local preservationists who want to protect historic buildings from the rapid development sweeping many of the city’s neighborhoods.

Named the “420 Row,” the cluster of Victorian row homes is the first historic district to be named since 2010, according to the Historical Commission. Designation means that the Historic Commission must approve any demolition or significant changes to the buildings. The designation comes as plans to convert one of the residences, a former fraternity house, into apartments are before the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee.

Block captain Justin McDaniel spearheaded the effort. Here is the designation application. Here is a list of other historic districts in the city, which include Parkside in West Philadelphia.

Increased development and a reluctance to grant historic status to large parts of West Philadelphia has prompted preservationists, including many members of local zoning committees, to seek designation on a “block by block” basis. Other designation applications are likely to follow.  Continue Reading

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Series of armed robberies reported in Spruce Hill, Garden Court (Update: Suspect arrested)

Posted on 17 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

UPDATE (Thursday, Jan. 19): A suspect was detained Tuesday near 40th and Walnut, according to police. At approximately 11 a.m., one of the robbery victims observed a male in the area who he recognized as the male who had robbed him earlier that morning. He called 911, and the male was stopped by responding officers and positively identified by the victim. The male was later identified as 56-year-old Larry Brown. He was arrested and charged with robbery, terroristic threats and related offenses.

Police are investigating a series of gunpoint robberies that took place between 8:30 p.m. on Monday and 7:05 a.m. on Tuesday between 43rd and 47th Streets and Spruce St. and Cedar Ave. A total of four robberies were reported, and police believe they were committed by the same suspect, described as a black male, about 5 feet, 6 inches, with a thin build and a beard, wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt, shorts, and spandex tights.

The first robbery took place in Garden Court at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday when a 38-year-old woman was approached by an unknown male on Pine St. between 46th and 47th. The man showed the woman a gun and demanded her purse which contained her cell phone, debit/credit cards, checkbook and cash. The man also indecently assaulted the woman before fleeing in an unknown direction, according to a police report.

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