Belongings and broken glass are all that remains of the families who once resided in the Liddonfield development.
As part of a two-part series, NEast Philly goes inside two housing projects to examine what works, what doesn’t and what’s to come. In the first part, we take a look at the soon-to-be-demolished Liddonfield.
No plans are set for the 32-acre site in Upper Holmesburg where construction crews will eventually demolish the 436-unit Liddonfield Homes, but many neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief at the public housing development’s closure.
“They were saying for years they were going to close Liddonfield, and it never closed,” Maria Asterga, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba and moved across the street from the development in 1964, said. “It was trouble and drugs. The cops came a lot. As a child, I was worried about walking up there.”
Asterga and her parents said rumors flew around the community since they moved there that the development, built as military barracks in the ‘40s and converted to public housing in the ‘50s, would be shut down. continue reading »
Al Taubenberger, president of the Greater Northeast Chamber of Commerce, says several business corridors in the region have not experienced decline during the economic fallout.
For Samuel Nalbandian, owner of Rising Sun Pizza in Lawncrest, the business is a way of life and the recession is nothing to worry about.
“For me, it’s been the same,” he said of business during the past several months. “It’s always good, as long as I’m here managing. The customers are satisfied.”
Nalbandian, who opened the pizza parlor in 1982, said while he did see a slight drop in business last year that he attributed to the recession, he doesn’t worry about the shop.
“I do worry for other people not having jobs when the economy is bad,” he said. “But as long as I do the right thing, I don’t worry [about the business].”
Like some owners throughout the Northeast’s many neighborhoods and myriad business corridors, Nalbandian is a small business owner lucky enough to skirt the worst of the decline, avoiding being hit as hard as other businesses, especially larger ones. While there are not concrete statistics for our region of the city specifically, in terms of the economy’s effect on the businesses, a consensus exists among owners and civic leaders that while the Northeast’s businesses were hit, they largely weren’t hit too hard, and will pull through and stay profitable. continue reading »
Ryan Director of Admissions Pam McPeak discusses the school's shadow program with students, junior Christopher Gatton (left) and freshman Julio Polanco (center).
Patrick Boylan and Tom McGowan, both juniors at Northeast Catholic High School, would have ruled the school as seniors next year – McGowan as a National Honor Society member ranked fifth in his class and Boylan as a legacy student, following his father, grandfather, uncles and older brothers by attending the school.
Now, both Boylan and McGowan will find themselves adapting to new schools for senior year, after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced plans to close Northeast Catholic, opened in 1926 on the border of Frankford and Kensington, and Cardinal Dougherty High School, opened in 1956 in Olney, at the end of the academic year due to waning enrollment.
“When I first heard North was closing, I was really mad,” McGowan, who is enrolled at Father Judge High School for next year, said. “I was mad that this announcement came out of nowhere and I was even more upset that North was closing a year before my senior year. I was confused because I didn’t know where I was going to go next year and what was going to happen with my scholarship.” continue reading »
Mayfair CDC Executive Director Brian Patrick King mentions some of the politicians who've helped the organization.
UPDATE [March 9] — Flash portion added.
For Kim Wilson and her 5-year-old daughter Marian, the STARS Program housed in Mayfair’s John M. Perzel Community Center provides a support system for facing the struggles of a disability.
“When you get a diagnosis for your child, there’s a whole process you go through in coming to terms with the diagnosis,” Wilson, whose daughter has been diagnosed with mild autism, a severe articulation disorder and a sensory integration dysfunction, said. “But then you also find out that there is this larger community of families going through that same process. Part of what STARS did for us was learning that we weren’t alone in what we were going through.”
Now, STARS, a sports program for disabled children, and more than 50 other groups that call the state-of-the-art John M. Perzel Community Center home, are facing possible program cuts, increases in fees or even facility shut downs due to recent and projected state funding cuts. continue reading »
Eric Doyle of Mark My Flesh tattoo shop on Frankford Avenue perfects a tattoo, which reads "Kendrell" with a heart, on Jasmine White's wrist.
Fernando Torres has more than an aesthetic reason for wanting to improve the look of his Frankford tattoo parlor.
“Cars hit the building a few times,” Torres, who also owns a women’s boutique next door to the parlor, said. “I want to get a steel structure in front to protect it.”
Torres opened Mark My Flesh, his tattoo shop, and Dream Girl’s Fashion, his boutique, about two years ago. On Jan. 21, he was one of six local business owners who participated in a Design Day program sponsored by the Frankford Community Development Corporation’s Main Street Initiative and the Community Design Collaborative. continue reading »