Tag Archives: history

The Physick House in Society Hill

The Physick House located at 321 S. 4th Street in Society Hill is a historical mansion from the late 18th century was home to Philip Syng Physick. He was a Philadelphia born American physician. In 1793 as the Yellow Fever epidemic swept through Philadelphia, Dr. Physick stuck around to treat victims. He has been called “the father of American surgery”.  In the late 1960’s the house was restored and donated to the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. Today this mansion remains a National Historic Landmark and serves as a museum to locals and tourists. The house even has a garden that replicates one from the 19th century.

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 5.13.14 PM(Image Source: wikipedia.org)

This month the Physick House is opening its doors and inviting the public in for fun and games. Starting on Thursday October 10th, you can join your neighbors for wine and beer tasting from 5:30-8pm. Music, food and raffle opportunities will be available. Tickets are $30 and proceeds help support the ‘Restore the Roof’ campaign. Another benefit is 50% of admission is tax deductible.

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 5.16.43 PM(Image Source: philalandmarks.org)

On Thursday October 23rd through Saturday the 26th , get your Halloween on with the Physick House. Join in for ‘History, Mystery and Murder Drama’. Starting at 8pm, a walking performance will take you through the house of history. Tickets are $30. Whether your ears perk up with beer or maybe mystery’s are more your kind, the Physick House is sure to show you a good time!

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 5.27.15 PM(Image Source: philalandmarks.org)

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A Proposed Modern Look for Society Hill’s Historical District

Mother Bethel seems to be the talk around town lately. In Society Hill‘s historical district of Philadelphia, one can walk on cobble stone streets while admiring the redbrick row homes that house years of history for Philadelphia. Historic Mother Bethel AME Church which sits at 6th and Lombard street may soon have neighbors.

An apartment building is being proposed to occupy the parking lot space at 6th and Addison. Although this six unit, four story apartment building would bring in new residents, it also would be constructed under modern design. The exterior of gray brick and stucco with large, overhanging bay windows would be quite the black sheep in this redbrick historical area. Neighbors and Society Hill Civic Association’s Zoning and Historical Preservation Committee members have voiced concerns for this project. Many feel that the point of having a historical district is to have the community’s support for respecting the historical landmarks and structures in the community.

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To top off the design, the new building’s air conditioning compressors would be facing into the stained glass windows of Mother Bethel. Rev. Mark Tyler held a prayer vigil recently asking that the commission follow the right path and preserve historical integrity. Hoping the prayer would lead to better judgement. These land owners must not be from Philadelphia.. or maybe its a lack of history appreciation. All we know is that Mother Bethel deserves some sunlight through their stained glass windows, not a rumbling AC shadow.

mother-bethel-church-600(Image Source: visitphilly.com)

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Recent Projects for Washington Square West

Recently, Washington Square West has received some TLC from the community and Trust organization. Washington Square West Trust is an educational and charitable organization that helps to support programs and activities in the community. Their goal is to enhance life in the neighborhood and make this area attractive for local residents as well as new city dwellers. Neighbors and community activists have worked with the WSWT organization to launch their latest project – a video history of what the neighborhood is and what is has to offer. Prominent individuals voice their opinion on how the neighborhood has changed, what it has to offer and the comfort and convenience of living in Washington Square West. This video attracts locals as well as visitors and allows the community to see neighborhood changes take place to better their living experience. I think other neighborhoods should take note of this project. What a sincere and informative way to educate new city dwellers or even locals looking to relocate to a different neighborhood. Check it out!

(Video Source: washwesttrust.org)

Washington Square West has been busy! Aside from their ‘video history’ launch, the Washington Square West Civic Association has started a project with PHS to restore and maintain tree canopy’s. You can join in by becoming Tree Tender Certified at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. A hands on training session will leave you with the knowledge and benefit to help plant and care for dozens of trees in Washington Square West. You must attend all three classes in October (2nd, 9th and 16th) to become certified.  Meet at 5:45pm and plan to stay about 3 hours. Once certified, you can join your fellow Tree Tenders on November 23rd to plant more than 2 dozen trees. The planting and caring will continue through Spring 2014. Scholarship opportunities are also available through Washington Square West Trust and PHS. The Virginia Trosino Tree Tender Scholarship is awarded to an individual who is certified, applies, a resident of WSW and expresses interest and knowledge to benefit the neighborhood. Scholarship winners have already been determined for this year, but don’t let that discourage you! Plan your tree tending classes now for 2014!

41(Image Source: washwestcivic.org)

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Dig Discovery at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church

Located on 6th Street between Pine and Lombard, in Society Hill, Mother Bethel and the African Methodist Episcopal Church holds history dating back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. This church was originally built on land first purchased in 1791 by freed slave Richard Allen with the support of several founding fathers.

1324335593sunrise(Image Source: motherbethel.org)

The church once owned a cemetery that is now the site of Weccacoe Playground in Queen Village. The cemetery land was in active use from about 1810 until about 1868. Initially purchased by Richard Allen, it was eventually acquired by the city and has served largely as a playground for more than a century. Recently, there have been proposed plans to update and renovate the park, making necessary changes for the community’s safety. In order for renovations to take place, an underground examination must be completed. Reports estimate that the shared land holds more than 2,000 burial sites a mere 2 1/2 feet below the playground surface. 

This all came to light last month when the headstone of Amelia Brown was found among top soil while conducting the land dig. For more than a century and today, families enjoy all the playground has to offer including full sized tennis courts, community activities and a full playground. This issue has become a fine line of preserving history while making necessary renovations to the playground.

bethel_20130725_1218427414(Image Source: nbcphiladelphia.com)

weccacoeplayground(Image Source: qvna.org)

After finding the tombstone, it was displayed for church members to see at worship. Mostly, they appreciated learning about the church and burial ground history. The Church is actively working several of the groups involved in the excavation and research to ensure this important part of the its and the City’s history is preserved for future generations.

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