We were in Pennsport the other day on our way to get the old jalopy inspected and happened upon Karen Donnelly Park, a public green space we never knew existed. According to the South Philly Review, this little patch of public space at 230 Dickinson St. was originally established as a quiet resting place for area residents back in 1978. For years, it contained a few tables and chairs and several trees, but upkeep fell off and the area was leveled by the City in the 1990s.
Around 2005, the City decided to sell the lot for redevelopment, but after a few years of pushback from neighbors the plan changed to refashion the space into a new and improved pocket park. The space, as you can see, has been totally rebuilt from the ground up with permanent tables…
Maybe it was yuletide. Or maybe it was realizing what makes a neighborhood charming. Whatever it was that inspired the City to bid $20K more than they said they could to save a neighborhood garden from development, it happened.
Back in December
According to Plan Philly, City representatives bid $71,500 at a Sheriff’s Sale Dec. 19 to keep 1010 S. St. Bernard St. in West Philly a neighborhood garden. The bidding opened at $1,000 and had climbed to $50K before the City stepped in with its winning bid, according to a Saint Bernard Community Garden press release. According to a spokesperson for the Mayor, the City was able to bid more because there was an old nuisance abatement lien associated with the property. The amount of said lien provided the extra wiggle room for the City to bid.…
Perhaps you’ve noticed 2200 Catharine St. on your way to Sidecar for brunch, or en route to SoWe for happy hour. Until fairly recently, the fenced-in corner lot, which covers less than 1,000 sqft, featured some overgrown trees, some cracked pavement, and some dodgy-looking benches. It looked like it could have been an unkempt side yard, or perhaps a very inaccessible public space.
In the past
According to SOSNA, this space was created in the 1970s as a public park, but drug dealing and crime in the park resulted in it being closed to the public within a few years. A couple of individuals held keys to the padlocked fence for the past few decades, and maintained to park to some degree during those years. Back in 2007, a developer nearly purchased this…
You may have never even heard of Sears St., a narrow street that runs with numerous stops and starts between Wharton and Reed Streets. But on the 700 block of this street you may have never even heard of, you would discover one of the most pleasant and surprising places in South Philadelphia: Paolone Park.
Medina St. runs for less than one block, beginning at 7th St. and flowing into Sears St. before it can even make it to 8th. The triangle that’s formed by Sears and Medina Sts. is populated both by homes and a wonderful little green space.
As you can see on the map
At one time, homes were to be found on this parcel. Later, it was a dumping ground, according to this article from the Inquirer. As of the early 1980′s, this dumping…
Back in December, we told you about the unfortunate chain of events surrounding the potentially doomed Manton Street Park. In short, the community spent last summer restoring and beautifying a depressed, former pocket park. In the fall, they learned that the city sold the “vacant lots” to a private developer without their knowledge- a possibility that they thought impossible due to bad information previously provided by city agencies. In December, the park’s prospects looked dim, as the city seemed unwilling to put itself in a the legally risky position of reneging on a signed agreement of sale.
Fast forward a couple of months, and it’s clear that a compromise was reached. Three new homes are currently under construction at 409, 411, and 413 Manton St.
Some big new houses
Closer look at
Gold Star Park is a wonderful neighborhood pocket park. It’s located on the 600 block of Wharton St., sitting between Sheridan and Marshall Sts., on the north side. Its 25K sqft footprint includes a playground and plenty of green space that the local community uses for events in the warmer months. When we snapped these photos a week ago, outdoor events weren’t exactly on our minds.
A snowy park, from Wharton St.
Looking southwest through the park
What you might not know is that the park sits on the site of the long demolished John Hay School. The school was constructed in 1906 and burned in 1939. The park, like the school, was originally named for John Hay, a private secretary for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. It was later renamed Gold…