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The place where you live: Schuylkill/South of South

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Oct. 7, 2004

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Boundaries: Broad Street to the Schuylkill River, South Street to Washington Avenue

Population: 11, 200

Demographics: Approximately 20 percent of the population is under 18. Nearly 70 percent is black; 24 percent is white. More white residents are moving into and renovating old properties in the neighborhood.

Origin of name: One look at the map explains it: The neighborhood is bordered by the Schuylkill River and Center City and, more simply stated, it lies south of South Street.

Brief history: Earliest records indicate that this community started out as an industrial settlement where the men worked and women stayed home caring for the family. Salesmen riding horse-drawn carts or pushcarts supplied residents with daily implements and food.

According to Terry Gillen, Democratic leader of the 30th Ward and a longtime resident, South Street (west of Broad) was the city's center of entertainment from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Famous residents: World-renowned opera singer Marian Anderson lived on Martin Street, just around the corner from Union Baptist Church, 19th and Fitzwater streets, where she sang in the choir.

Major landmarks: Anderson's home; the Naval Home, 2420 Grays Ferry Ave. (now being developed into a gated townhome community by Toll Brothers); and the defunct Royal Theater, 1500 South St., which opened in the 1920s and was the first movie theater built for African Americans.

Architecture: Mostly townhouses

Median home sale price: $350,000

State Senate districts: First, Vincent Fumo (D); District Eight, Anthony Williams (D)

State House district: 186th, Harold James (D)

City Council district: Second, Council President Anna Verna (D)

Ward: 30th

Police district: 17th

Civic groups and townwatches: South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA)

Schools: E.M. Stanton Elementary, 17th and Christian streets; Chester A. Arthur Elementary, 20th and Catharine streets; W.S. Peirce Middle School, 24th and Christian streets

Rec centers: Marian Anderson Recreation Center, 17th and Fitzwater streets; Chew Playground, 19th Street and Washington Avenue

Highlights of living there: Residents south of South have an easier time finding parking spots than do their South Philly neighbors. They also enjoy the convenience of walking to prime spots such as Center City, the South Square Market and the Italian Market. It might even help to bring along a pushcart like salesmen did in the old days to tote home all the goodies.

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1. former resident said... on Mar 1, 2009 at 06:44PM

“Lived on webster street for 6 years . It was a springboard to getting a house which did not have the brickface ready to collapse . Take a look at a lot of the houses there and see the dip in the center of the upper story brickface unless the brickface was redone .”

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