Photo of the house today by Laura Kicey
With fraught conversation over vacant land and properties in the news almost every day, it’s gratifying to see the occasional example of what can be done when one individual decides to fight for a dilapidated building and turn it around.
Case in point: This creatively reinvented, highly livable two-bedroom home on a side street was just an abandoned corner rowhouse when a local photographer Jacob Hellman, a collagist and scholar of abandoned buildings, fell in love with it. He liked the location, in particular: One block from Fairmount Park, in a neighborhood some would call Strawberry Mansion but a realtor would call Brewerytown, the house is tucked away on a quiet street, across from an empty field, in an eerie but oddly soothing post-industrial landscape. He also liked the fact that it had a south-facing sidewall that would afford the opportunity down the line for passive solar heating modification.
Once he was able to buy the home, Hellman transformed it from shabby dereliction into one of the neighborhood’s most unique private homes.
Philly has 10 City Council districts, and according to data analysis by NewsWorks, one of them leads the rest in property tax delinquencies. But it’s not necessarily the one that you’d think.
The 8th District (above), like all Council districts, is oddly shaped and includes disparate neighborhoods–everywhere from 22nd and Allegheny to Stenton and Hillcrest avenues. Represented by Cindy Bass, the 8th owes $94,151,727–the most of any of the 10 districts.
Photo by Bradley Maule via Hidden City
John Coltrane’s time in Philadelphia–featured this weekend on the radio show American Routes–was the fertile beginning of his development as a unique voice in jazz. He moved to the city as a teen from North Carolina and, along with formal lessons, was embraced by the thriving African-American jazz scene here and the many musicians who came in and out from New York. As one of the genre’s legends, Coltrane’s influence has been felt by generations, yet the properties he’s owned have had a rough time of it.