This article needs additional citations for verification .(January 2009)
Brewerytown Historic District in North Philadelphia.
Map of Philadelphia County with North Philadelphia highlighted. Click for larger image
|Country||United States of America|
|• Total||46.7 sq mi (121 km2)|
|• Density||5,155/sq mi (1,990/km2)|
19120, 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19126, 19130, 19132, 19133, 19134, 19137, 19138, 19140, 19141, 19150
North Philadelphia, nicknamed North Philly, is a section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is immediately north of Center City. Though the full extent of the region is somewhat vague, "North Philadelphia" is regarded as everything north of either Vine Street or Spring Garden Street, between Northwest Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia. It is bordered to the north by Cheltenham Township along Cheltenham Avenue, Spring Garden Street to the south, 35th Street to the west and Adams Avenue to the east. The Philadelphia Police Department patrols five districts located within North Philadelphia: the 22nd, 25th, 26th, 35th and 39th districts.There are fifteen ZIP codes for North Philadelphia: 19120, 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19126, 19130, 19132, 19133, 19134, 19137, 19138, 19140, 19141, and 19150. The city government views this sprawling chunk of Philadelphia more precisely as three smaller districts, drawn up by the Redevelopment Authority in 1964. These regions are (from north to south) Olney-Oak Lane, Upper North Philadelphia and Lower North Philadelphia. Other sections of North Philadelphia include Brewerytown, Fairhill, Fairmount, Fishtown, Francisville, Franklinville, Glenwood, Hartranft, Koreatown, Northern Liberties, Poplar (roughly bound by Girard Avenue, Broad Street, Spring Garden Street and 5th Street), Sharswood, Strawberry Mansion and Yorktown.
Prior to its incorporation into the city proper, North Philadelphia was little more than a collection of primarily agricultural townships above the original City of Philadelphia. In the 18th century, as Philadelphia grew in importance and, consequently, population, then pastoral North Philadelphia became an attractive alternative to the burgeoning city. The mansions of wealthy Philadelphians began to dot the landscape, and by the late 18th and early 19th century, several small town centers had developed to anchor the growing population. However, this suburban landscape was to be interrupted around the middle of the 19th century, as rapid urban expansion led to The Consolidation Act of 1854. This state law annexed all of the townships within Philadelphia County to the City of Philadelphia. With new territory now under the aegis of Philadelphia's city planners, a rising influx of European immigrants led to the end of North as a suburb of Philadelphia. North Philadelphia's decentralized towns were gradually meshed into a sprawling network of the ubiquitous Philadelphia rowhomes. Many of the newly created neighborhoods retained the name of their ancestral towns and townships, for example, Northern Liberties was formerly Northern Liberties Township.
Philadelphia was one of the most important centers of manufacturing in the world between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries,and North Philadelphia is one of the sections of the city whose landscape was most deeply shaped by the industrial era. Its landscape still strongly reflects this heritage.
As the industrial age peaked in America, North Philadelphia became a working man's town. Upper North Philadelphia, Olney, Brewerytown, became major hubs of production. Large factories and industrial complexes were erected, covering vast swaths of city land. Thousands of row homes were constructed to house the burgeoning worker population. This expansion was also the impetus for breaking ground on the Broad Street Line subway, designed specifically to carry a passenger from the northern hub of Olney to Philadelphia City Hall in under 20 minutes. Major freight and passenger rail lines were built to intersect at the newly constructed North Broad Street Station and transmit cargo from the bustling factories. The completion of the BSL these major railways made the region a thriving hub of transportation. For a time, North Philadelphia station became the second most heavily trafficked rail station in the city, and the Olney Ave station the most used subway stop.
Along with many of Philadelphia's major manufacturing concerns came the nearby estates of the wealthy industrialists who had founded them. Lower North Philadelphia in particular housed a number of the nouveau riche : ambitious first or second generation immigrants or those that had made their fortunes starting manufacturing firms. Many were German Jews who had settled in the area, later founding companies and building synagogues. For a time, an age of opulence and grand architecture returned to North Philadelphia, centered on what is now zoned as the Historic North Broad Street Mansion and Speculative Housing Districts. Gentlemen's clubs, upscale restaurants and shopping districts grew in this southern tier for a brief moment in history, peaking in the late 1920s. Upper-class foremen and executives lived farther north along Broad Street, in what is now the West Diamond Street Townhouse Historic District. Thriving commercial districts sprung up along the great northern avenues: Columbia (renamed Cecil B. Moore Avenue), Susquehanna, Dauphin, Erie, Lehigh and Olney, to name a few. However, just as this wealth was so suddenly gained, it would just as suddenly be lost. The new money culture proved to be an unstable foundation for a lasting community, and like so many constructs of the Gilded Age, this core of wealth was doomed to rot.
Over the next few decades The Great Depression, outsourcing and white flight took their toll on North Philadelphia in a fashion similar to other major US cities of the mid to late 20th century, if not in a more pronounced fashion. While residential corridors like Hope Street and Delhi Street had long housed primarily African-American residents, white residents moved out of the city as waves of poor blacks moved in. During the 40s and 50s, much of the area was racially integrated, although smaller streets were usually completely black or white. Whites began to move out slowly at first in the late 1940s as these residents became more affluent and Northeast Philadelphia began to develop new housing with lawns and conveniences such as modern plumbing. In most cases African Americans moved into the vacant houses and as this began to increase, true white flight began. Increasingly, people moved out of North Philadelphia not solely to move into newer homes, but to avoid facing decreasing property values and increased criminality. For a time, Lower North Philadelphia became a great center of black culture and music, most notably jazz. Many commercial corridors were maintained for decades, and a great many musicians came to North Philadelphia, like John Coltrane and Stan Getz. By 1964, North Philadelphia was the city's center of African American culture, home to 400,000 of the city's 600,000 black residents.
As the century marched past middle age, many other problems symptomatic of all US cities of the time came about. Many of the neighborhoods in North Philadelphia sprung up around one monolithic factory, which was the center of the community's income. Each factory that closed down devastated its host neighborhood. In this way, the wave of national industrial collapse caused the rapid break up of numerous "factory neighborhoods" in the predominantly working class North Philadelphia.
On the evening of August 28, 1964, a black woman named Odessa Bradford got into an argument with two police officers, one black, Robert Wells, and the other white, John Hoff, after her car stalled at 23rd Street and Columbia Avenue.After Bradford refused to comply with the two officers' orders to move the car, because the car had stalled, and she was unable to drive it, an argument ensued. The officers then tried to physically remove Bradford from the car. She resisted and a large crowd assembled in the area. A man tried to come to Bradford's aid by attacking the police officers at the scene, but he and Bradford were arrested. Rumors then spread throughout North Philadelphia that a pregnant black woman had been beaten to death by white police officers. Later that evening, and throughout the next two days, angry mobs looted and burned mostly white-owned businesses in North Philadelphia, mainly along Columbia Avenue. Outnumbered, the police response was to withdraw from the area rather than aggressively confront the rioters. The race riots of 1964 became iconic for the rising ethnic tensions in the region, and the continued withdrawal of white residents. The riot, which virtually destroyed the central shopping district of North Philadelphia, signaled the beginning of the end for the North's commercial sector. The withering of the American manufacturing sector led to the closing of many of the factories that many northern neighborhoods were centered on and depended on. Increased urban blight and the general decline of Philadelphia in the late 20th century even saw the decline of many of the strong black communities in North Philadelphia. The legendary Connie Mack Stadium was closed in favor of the new Pattison Sports Complex. North Philadelphia Station lost Amtrak Service, and the BSL subway line garnered a reputation for violent crime and rape. The great art deco office buildings and government institutions were mostly abandoned, as were the mansions of the many ruined industrialists. As in many poorer African American city ghettos, drug addiction became a major blight in North Philadelphia, further destabilizing families and social networks.
North Philadelphia, like many other sections of Philadelphia, is highly racially and socially segregated block by block. A noticeable pattern in the area is that, in the southern part of North Philadelphia (south of about Erie Avenue), Germantown Avenue (which later becomes North 6th Street) is the dividing point between the areas that are predominantly Black (to the west), and the areas that are predominantly Hispanic (to the east). However, this is slowly changing, with a small yet growing population of Hispanics living west of Germantown Avenue, and already significant population of Blacks living east of that street.
The area between Broad Street and 5th Street is increasingly becoming a "transition zone" between the larger predominately black area west of Broad, and the smaller predominately Hispanic area east of 5th. This section of Philadelphia has nearly equal populations of Hispanics and Blacks, although Germantown Avenue is still seen as a divider street, with areas between Germantown Avenue and Broad Street "more black" and areas between Germantown Avenue and 5th street "more Hispanic".
East of Front street, blocks start to get more diverse, with significant populations of Hispanics, blacks and whites. Also, as the Hispanic community continues to grow eastward, the ethnic white enclaves of eastern North Philadelphia continue to shrink.
North Philadelphia is usually described as an area north of Center City, between Front Street and Fairmount Park.
Today, many remnants of these more prosperous eras remain. However, many historic buildings have collapsed, either from neglect or demolition, and thousands more still lie abandoned. A handful have become protected historic properties, and 67 properties and districts were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Several blocks, with numerous old mansions, have been re-zoned as the aforementioned historic districts. A great many extravagant churches were built over the years, as well. Some still stand, but all too often money is scarce to preserve their deteriorating architecture. The trolley lines that once criss-crossed the northern streets and linked the region with the rest of Philadelphia were shut down by SEPTA in 1992. Immense, abandoned factories sit idle; warehouses lie empty; and disused heavy rail lines scar the landscape. The names of the old industrialists, such as Gratz, Poth, Uber, Bouvier and Schmidt, still adorn many buildings and street signs in the area but are otherwise foreign to many modern-day residents.
The Neighborhood Transformation Initiative or NTI, was a City program launched by Mayor John F. Street. The program called for the demolition of thousands of condemned buildings and the construction of large-scale, medium-density public housing, with restoration efforts to be employed on salvageable houses. Many blocks of old rowhouses have been bulldozed and replaced with suburban-style tract houses. This program has radically changed some sections of North Philadelphia. Some[ who? ] charge that little effort was made to save a number of historic buildings, others[ who? ] that NTI was needed to change blighted neighborhoods. The lasting effects of the program remain to be seen.
This article needs additional citations for verification .(May 2009)
Some areas, like Olney, Allegheny and Erie, still have relatively active communities, but even they are often troubled by drugs, crime and/or social underfunding. Allegheny West has advanced, mostly from the support of some of the last industries in North Philadelphia, such as Pep Boys, which is headquartered in the neighborhood.
Several parts of North Philadelphia, especially those that border the Center City district, have recently[ when? ] been experiencing varying levels of gentrification. Once economically divested neighborhoods like Brewerytown, Francisville, Northern Liberties, Poplar and West Kensington have seen large scale development break ground. Other regions have seen virtually no change, save the rising housing values that have accompanied increased attention in urban markets. Many residents of communities in North Philadelphia have voiced resistance towards these gentrifying forces, viewing the sudden investment as an invasion that threatens the traditional character of the neighborhoods. Some poor and elderly residents have been pushed out of increasingly valued neighborhoods adjacent to the dynamic Center City housing market, as speculative buyers push outward from the city core. Many[ who? ] fear this process will be repeated in North Philadelphia. Many buildings are abandoned.
According to the 2010 census, 340,350 people live among the ZIP codes of 19132, 19133, 19121, 19122, 19130 and 19123.(Map)
Most of North Philadelphia's population is made up of African Americans and Puerto Ricans.The eastern half of North Philadelphia has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in the country, this section of North Philadelphia is over 75% Puerto Rican, and over half of Philadelphia's Puerto Rican population resides in this section of the city. North Philadelphia also has a high concentration of Black Muslims. The area also has significant Irish and other White Americans, Dominican, Haitian, Cuban, Korean and Polish populations, among others. About half of the population lives below the poverty line.
Most of Philadelphia's crime pertains to the drug trade. In a 2007 Philadelphia Weekly article journalist Steve Volk states that anti-drug activists said that North Philadelphia has a lot of open air recreational drug dealing because the act is a tradition and because many areas have consistent poverty.Though several blighted Philadelphia neighborhoods are known for open-air drug dealing, as well as open-air drug using, the "North Philly Badlands" is notorious nationwide for it. Many North Philadelphia neighborhoods are blighted, and abound in abandoned homes and vacant lots.
Pep Boys is headquartered in North Philadelphia.
Certain sections of North Philadelphia were highly commercial. TOPPS Cards were once produced in North Philadelphia until moving to New York.
Temple University is the seventh largest employer in the City of Philadelphia, Temple University Hospital, Inc is number 11 (PA Dept of Labor and Industry, 1st Quarter 2019).
Notably, Broad Street roughly bisects North Philadelphia north-south. Broad Street is a six-lane arterial street that is designated as Pennsylvania Route 611. The Broad Street Line or 'Orange Line,' runs along Broad Street, directly connecting North Philadelphia with Center City and South Philadelphia, as well as with the rest of Philadelphia's public transit system: SEPTA.
As of 2017 [update] , Taiwanese airline China Airlines provides a private bus service to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for customers based in the Philadelphia area. This service stops in North Philadelphia.
Public and Charter schooling in North Philadelphia is handled by the School District of Philadelphia. The region is divided into several "clusters," which administer individual schools. By region, these clusters are:
Lower North Philadelphia
Upper North Philadelphia
YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which is chartered by the School District of Philadelphia, is also located in North Philadelphia, just south of William Penn High School.
The Mastery Charter Schools system operates the Clymer School in North Philadelphia.The system opened the Mastery Charter Lenfest Campus (7–12) in September 2001 in an office building in North Philadelphia. The school moved to Old City in Center City in 2002.
North Philadelphia has the largest concentration of Charter Schools in Philadelphia
North Philadelphia hosts a number of institutions of higher learning.
There are thirteen branch libraries of the Philadelphia Free Library located in North Philadelphia.
Uptown Theater is an iconic part of the music scene of North Philadelphia. It was a springboard for many notable artist of our time.
Germantown is an area in Northwest Philadelphia. Founded by German, Quaker, and Mennonite families in 1683 as an independent borough, it was absorbed into Philadelphia in 1854. The area, which is about six miles northwest from the city center, now consists of two neighborhoods: 'Germantown' and 'East Germantown'.
Hunting Park is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
South Philadelphia, nicknamed South Philly, is the section of Philadelphia bounded by South Street to the north, the Delaware River to the east and south and the Schuylkill River to the west. A diverse working-class community of many neighborhoods, South Philadelphia is well-known for its large Italian American population, but it also contains large Irish American, African American, Asian American, and Latino populations.
West Philadelphia, nicknamed West Philly, is a section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Though there is no official definition of its boundaries, it is generally considered to reach from the western shore of the Schuylkill River, to City Avenue to the northwest, Cobbs Creek to the southwest, and the SEPTA Media/Elwyn Line to the south. An alternate definition includes all city land west of the Schuylkill; this would also include Southwest Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. The eastern side of West Philadelphia is also known as University City.
Brewerytown is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. An unofficial region, Brewerytown runs approximately between the Schuylkill River's eastern bank and 25th Street, bounded by Cecil B. Moore Avenue to the north and Parrish Street to the south. Brewerytown got its name because of the numerous breweries that were located along the Schuylkill during the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is now primarily a residential neighborhood, with a growing and active commercial sector along Girard Avenue.
Strawberry Mansion is a neighborhood in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, located east of Fairmount Park in North Philadelphia. The neighborhood is bounded by 33rd Street to the west, 29th Street to the east, Lehigh Avenue to the north, and Oxford Street to the south. As of the 2000 census, the neighborhood had a population of 22,562. It is often associated with the historic house of the same name, Historic Strawberry Mansion, located adjacent to the neighborhood and generally thought to be the source of the community's name.
Kensington is a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its placement within the broader division of sections of Philadelphia is debated, but it is often considered as a dividing line between or belonging to both the Lower Northeast section of Philadelphia and North Philadelphia. It is generally considered part of the Philadelphia River Wards. Modern Kensington is larger than the former Kensington District, and unlike Kensington District it does not include Fishtown.
Fern Rock is a neighborhood in the upper North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania bounded by Olney to the east, Ogontz to the west, Logan to the south, and East Oak Lane to the north. It is approximately situated between Broad Street, Tabor Road, 7th Street, Godfrey Avenue and Fisher Park. Fern Rock borders Ogontz at Broad Street, Logan at Olney Avenue, East Oak Lane at Godfrey Avenue, and Olney at the train tracks.
Olney is a neighborhood in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is roughly bounded by Roosevelt Boulevard to the south, Tacony Creek to the east, Godfrey Avenue to the north, and the railroad right-of-way west of Seventh Street to the west.
Mount Airy is a neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Ogontz/Belfield is a neighborhood in Upper Northern Philadelphia that is located adjacent to West Oak Lane, East Germantown, Logan, and Fern Rock, Philadelphia.
West Oak Lane is a neighborhood in the Northwestern Philadelphia. The neighborhood was developed primarily between the early 1920s and late 1930s, with the areas near to Cedarbrook constructed after World War II. At the northeast corner of Limekiln Pike and Washington Lane was the site of the Cedar Park Inn, a historic tavern built in the early 19th century, which was torn down sometime after 1931 as the neighborhood was being fully developed.
Logan is a neighborhood in the upper North Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The majority of the neighborhood falls within the 19141 zip code, but some of it falls within 19140. The neighborhood is sometimes confused with the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia. Olney Avenue extends from both the Olney and Logan neighborhoods of the city. The Olney Transportation Center is located in Logan.
Fairhill is a neighborhood on the east side of the North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Fairhill is bordered by Front Street to the east, Germantown Avenue to the west, Allegheny Avenue to the north, and Cumberland Street to the south. The neighborhood serves as the center of the Hispanic community of Philadelphia, and is known for its "El Centro de Oro" commercial strip along North 5th Street. The neighborhood is also the center of the Philadelphia Badlands. Fairhill is adjacent to Harrowgate and West Kensington to the east, Hartranft to the south, Glenwood to the west, and Hunting Park to the north.
Nicetown–Tioga is a neighborhood in the North Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It comprises two smaller, older neighborhoods, Nicetown and Tioga, although the distinction between the two is rarely emphasized today. The name "Nicetown" is often simply used to refer to any part of Nicetown–Tioga.
Glenwood is a neighborhood in North Philadelphia. It is located in the vicinity of North Philadelphia Station to West York Street.
Belmont Village is a middle class neighborhood located in the West Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The zip code is 19131.
Philadelphia has the second largest Puerto Rican community outside of Puerto Rico after New York City. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, an estimated 121,643 Puerto Ricans were living in Philadelphia, up from 91,527 in 2000. Recent 2017 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau put the number of Puerto Ricans living in Philadelphia at 134,934. In 2019, estimates put the number of Puerto Ricans at 146,153. Many Puerto Ricans in the Philadelphia area have engaged in circular migration in which they spend periods of time living in Philadelphia and periods of time living in Puerto Rico.
Cheltenham Township is a home rule township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. Cheltenham's population density ranges from over 10,000 per square mile in rowhouses and high-rise apartments along Cheltenham Avenue to historic neighborhoods in Wyncote and Elkins Park. It is the most densely populated township in Montgomery County. The population was 36,793 at the 2010 U.S. Census, making it the third most populous township in Montgomery County and the 27th most populous municipality in Pennsylvania. It was originally part of Philadelphia County, and it became part of Montgomery County upon that county's creation in 1784.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for North Philly .|