By Bill Chenevert
Felicia Punzo asked an auditorium full of fifth through eighth graders all kinds of questions Friday afternoon at the Girard Academic Music Program, 2136 Ritner St.
As a nimble netminder, Peter Dundovich has thwarted thousands of shots over the last two decades, finding favor with numerous clubs, including his beloved Philadelphia Flyers. Believing the art of stopping rubber to be the marriage of a flexible frame and a malleable mind, the 29-year-old has commenced coaching young goaltenders, with Rizzo Rink, 1101 S. Front St., his local location for bestowing education.
For some South Philadelphians, best hoagie could be considered the Holy Grail of Readers’ Choice Awards. For the people to speak and shout PrimoHoagies, 1528 W. Ritner St., as their favorite has got to be why Primo’s has become what we’ve seen it become over the past 15 years. The original location on an unassuming strip of Ritner that’s dotted with savory and sweet foods, has been the anchor of a business that’s blossomed into a 90-shop franchise.
Chocolate ganache, oreo and red velvet cupcakes are just a few of the selections sitting in the display case at Potito’s, 1614 W. Ritner St. Many customers must’ve been very hungry when they saw best cupcakes on the ballot as the Girard Estate establishment has been delivered the top prize.
The Tap Room on 19th, 2400 S. 19th St., is getting a jumpstart on the St. Patrick’s Day festivities by offering three days’ worth of specials starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and going through 2 a.m. Monday.
Mark Casasanto Jr. has perpetually pursued renown for his soccer clubs but has never coveted individual merit. The 20-year-old acquired the former in the fall, as his Community College of Philadelphia Colonials captured their first Eastern States Soccer League title and accepted the latter last week in receiving the Conference Player of the Year distinction.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 announced Monday it has increased its reward from $10,000 to $20,000 for providing information that leads to the arrest of a Girard Estate resident’s killers. The bolstered amount will be available through Sunday.
While talking on her phone Saturday night in Girard Estate, a woman met with a bag-seeking stranger.
While Amber Long and her mother walked along the 900 block of North Front Street at 10:35 p.m. Sunday, two unknown men approached them behind, with the first snatching the matriarch’s purse and the other encountering resistance as he tried to nab the handbag of the 17th-and-Ritner-streets resident, Lt. John Stanford, of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Office of Media Relations, said.
Police are hoping surveillance videos can nab three suspects for a series of thefts, including a late summer incident in Girard Estate.
Two ne’er-do-wells pulled off a home robbery of a pair of Girard Estate residents Friday.
Jeffrey Williford possesses a name that would perfectly fit within a Victorian era novel, but the basketball squad at the Girard Academic Music Program, 2136 W. Ritner St., delights in having the 17-year-old as a contemporary character in their story.
» COMMUNITY PROFILE
Boundaries: Passyunk to Oregon avenues, 17th to 25th streets. The Girard Estate historic district — the only one in South Philly — is roughly bounded by 17th to 22nd streets, Porter to Shunk streets and 21st to 22nd streets, Passyunk to Shunk.
Origin of Name: The area was established by the deed of Stephen Girard, a French merchant.
Brief history: Stephen Girard landed in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. In 1797, he purchased a farm he named "The Places" at the southern end of Philadelphia County, an area known as Passyunk Township. The original farmhouse, along with the two later additions built by Girard, still stand today at 21st and Shunk streets. Although Girard never lived in the farmhouse, his daily regimen included visits to the farm where he would perform much of the manual labor himself.
In 1830, the Horticulture Society of Pennsylvania recognized the farm for being among the best in the country noting the orchard included Seckel pears that were “second to none,” and the gardens included America’s first artichokes as well as a variety of other fine vegetables. Fruits, lemons, mandarin oranges and the only known citrons grown in this country filled his greenhouse while the land was profuse with jasminion bushes and 20-foot high Marseillaise fig trees.
Girard and his attorney, William Duane, spent many hours at the farmhouse composing Girard's will. When he died in 1831, most of his $6-million estate was left to the City of Philadelphia. Girard’s will stated; however, the city must establish a college for poor white boys in his name, and his house must not be sold. In response to the second stipulation, the Board of Recreation Tours of City Trusts developed Girard Estate, which initially were all rental homes, between 1907 and 1916. The planning of these homes was loosely based on the "Garden City" concept by Ebenezer Howard and were designed by the father-and-son team of James and John Windrim. Envisioned as a low density, semi-suburban setting with modest lawns and cottage-like twin houses, the Girard Estate homes reflect the popular styles of the early 20th century. In 1950, the city received permission to sell all 481 homes to private owners. Within two years, all were sold.
Famous Residents: Stephen Girard
Major Landmarks: Donatucci Library (formerly Passyunk Library), 1935 Shunk St., was constructed in 1914 through a grant from railroad tycoon Andrew Carnegie; Girard Park, site of Girard’s farm and house, between 21st and 22nd streets and Porter and Shunk; Quartermaster Plaza, 23rd Street and Oregon Avenue.
Architecture: Outside of the Girard Estate historical district, two-story brick rowhomes built in late 1910s and ’20s are most prevalent. Within the district, architect James H. Windrim, along with son John, built semi-detached homes from 1906-16 in many styles, including bungalow, prairie, mission, Jacobean revival and Colonial revival. Homeowners must follow guidelines set by the Philadelphia Historical Commission to preserve the aesthetics of the homes.
U.S. Congressional District: 2nd, Chaka Fattah (D)
Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Corbett (R)
State Senate District 1st, Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. (D)
State House District: 185th, Maria Donatucci (D)
City Council District: 2nd, Kenyatta Johnson (D)
Police District: 1st, Capt. Louis Campione; Community Relations Officer Paul Bryson
Civic Groups: Broad Street West Civic Association; Girard Estate Area Residents; Girard Estate Neighbors' Association
Libraries: Donatucci, 1935 Shunk St.
Schools: St. Monica Junior School, 17th and Ritner streets, and Senior School, 16th and Porter streets; Girard Academic Music Program (once Edgar Allen Poe School), 22nd and Ritner streets; Philadelphia Job Corps, 2810 S. 20th St., Building 12
Places Of Worship: Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, 2310 S. 24th St.; Monica Roman Catholic Church, 1714 W. Ritner St.; St. Edmond's Church, 2130 S. 21st St.; and Trinity Lutheran Church, 2300 S. 18th St., and
Rec Centers: Guerin Recreation Center, 16th and Jackson streets in Newbold.
Parks: Girard Park, 21st and Shunk streets.