By Joseph Myers
Gabriella D’Alonzo has a simple directive for those who wish to enhance communal morale — volunteer.
By Amanda L. Snyder
“When I am dead, my actions must speak for me,” Girard, the wealthiest U.S. citizen during his time, said.
By Joseph Myers
Occasionally brash yet usually revered, Rizzo Sr. continues to appeal to South Philadelphians nearly 22 years after his death.
By Jessica Foley
Flash back to 1983: It’s 10-year-old Debi Marcucci’s first trip to Center City’s Walnut Street Theatre, where her cousins have brought her to see a production of “Oliver.”
The alleged shooter who gunned down a West Passyunk man as his young son looked on in a Girard Estate parking lot was taken into custody Sunday.
A man thought he was purchasing an iPad off of craigslist, but the seller deceived and robbed him in Girard Estate.
A man robbed a Girard Estate cell phone store and its employee of her phone.
With approximately 10,000 registrants from more than 3,600 families, St. Monica Church, 17th and Ritner streets, never lacks prayerful participants at its two daily and six weekend Masses. The worship site for South Philly’s largest parish has received readers’ blessings as the top church.
Having helped to helm operations during the entire 39-year history of Girard Academic Music Program, 2136 Ritner St., Dr. Jack Carr has bonded with thousands of colleagues and enrollees enamored with the flawless execution of notes.
Many people find themselves forced to hold two jobs to sustain their livelihood, but Mariano Mattei pursues a pair of passions to maximize his enjoyment of life.
Senior guard Tobias Stokes became the fifth basketball player in the history of the Girard Academic Music Program, 2136 W. Ritner St., to reach 1,000 points Jan. 12.
» 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.