QV Crier - Summer 2022

Page 1

SUMMER 2022

Summer’s Bounty Farm to Queen Village

The Power of Native Plants

The Butterfly Effect

South Street Museum Makes History


Contents 3 4

President’s Letter

Volunteer Spotlight This spring, neighbors broke out the brooms and trowels to spruce up three Queen Village green spaces.

7

QVNA Spotlight

8

The Common Good

10 12

QVNA’s director is named one of the Women Leading the 175th District.

With a little help from QVNA, Queen Villagers joined in this spring on neighborhood improvement projects. Mother Earth and the local canine community say thanks!

SUMMER 2022

18 20 22

24

QV Life A dedicated Queen Villager is planting his garden to attract butterflies.

The Commons A guide to responsible urban gardening that includes tips on choosing native plants to protect our ecosystem.

26 28

It Takes a Village The Crier remembers a quartet of neighbors who helped make Queen Village a special place to live.

Out and About A local favorite is nominated for a James Beard Award for the MidAtlantic’s best chef.

School Bell An informal guide to what the city has to offer for kids when the final school bell rings and the temperatures start to rise.

South Street Beat The South Street History Museum opens its doors—and a window—into the storied past of Philadelphia’s hippest street.

How It Works The Crier illuminates the intricacies of construction and permitting.

QV History A Queen Village landmark goes on the market. Piers 38 and 40 are listed for sale—and nominated for historic designation.

Above The Farmers’ Market at Headhouse

By Nancy Brokaw On the cover The Farmers’ Market at Headhouse

By R. Kennedy, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

14

Feature: Bob Pierson Farmers’ Market Godfather A pioneer in Philadelphia’s farm-to-table movement, Bob Pierson was instrumental in the creation of the beloved Headhouse Farmers’ Market.


!

VOLUME 4 | ISSUE 2 SUMMER 2022 Online at QVNA.org/crier

CONDOMINIUM

PUBLISHER Queen Village Neighbors Association

FOR SALE BY OWNER

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Eleanor Ingersoll president@qvna.org

Residence at Dockside

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Lucy Erdelac wecare@qvna.org

North Facing / 5th Floor

MANAGING EDITOR Nancy Brokaw editor@qvna.org

717 S. Columbus Blvd. $535,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Baths

Pragmatic)Counsel.))Diligent)Advocacy.) !

!

1845 Ten!Penn!Center,!Suite!630! 1801!Market!Street! Philadelphia,!PA!!19103! ! T:!!(215)!667.8011! F:!!(215)!914.6332! !

www.fungefamilylaw.com)

Queen Village

Split Layout 2 Balconies

PROOFREADER Jamie Bischoff

Fantastic Views of City Skyline and Penn’s Landing

DESIGNER Alec Meltzer meltzerdesign.net

Contact Doug or Lynn

Volunteers Sign up @ QVNA.org/Volunteer

Wernerly0903@gmail.com

AD SALES advertising@qvna.org 215.339.0975 qvna.org/advertise

QVNA provides community stewardship, advocacy and service to help improve quality of life for Queen Village residents. BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2022–2023 TERM) OFFICERS: Eleanor Ingersoll—PRESIDENT Justin Fishman—VICE PRESIDENT Chris Mullen—SECRETARY Cait Allen—TREASURER Matt Atkins Joseph G. Brin Dan Doyle Don Finley

DIRECTORS: Michelle Grimley Philip Holzhauer Mike McPhilmy Noah Swistak

EMERITUS DIRECTORS: Kathy Conway Michael Hauptman (1983–2003) Marian Buczek Inez Green (1991–2003) QVNA OFFICE 709 S. 5th Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 info@qvna.org CALL OR TEXT 215.339.0975 © Copyright 2021. Queen Village Neighbors Association. All rights reserved.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 1


Contributors Cait and Michael Allen joined the Queen Village community in March 2019. Cait is the director of engagement at the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, and Michael is chief operating officer of Wills Eye Hospital. Claudia Archer is the past president and a current board member of the Bella Vista Neighbors Association. Jamie Bischoff is an editor and a recently retired copyright and trademark lawyer, who has lived in Queen Village for the past 39 years. A Row House blogger, Suzanne Dreitlein has been a Queen Village resident since 2007. She enjoys living in a 19th-century row cottage, wearing 18thcentury clothing, and writing about the great things going on in QV! Before retiring, Mona Liss worked as the PR director of IKEA US. She and her

husband lived in QV for more than 40 years before moving to California. Her passions are collecting art, flower-arranging, and taking the family dogs, Taj and Trevi, on nature walks. A principal of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Sam Olshin has led the design of many of his firm’s award-winning architectural projects. Sam discovered Queen Village when, as a graduate student at Penn, he volunteered at Meredith Elementary, knew he’d found his neighborhood, and in 1989 made Queen Village his home. Both Mary and Roger Randall served on the QVNA board, Mary as treasurer from 1987 to 1990 and Roger as treasurer from 1987 to 1990 and president from 1991 to 1995. Mary was also active in the Home and School Association at Meredith Elementary School.

Joel Spivak has been a resident of Queen Village and Bella Vista since 1969. His passion for neighborhodd history has made him a partner in many supportive and revitalizing projects in the area. The architect, artist, and author is also the director of National Hot Dog Month in Philadelphia. Maureen Weir is a resident of Queen Village and a member of the Friends of Moyamensing Point. A communications director by trade, she is currently working towards her certification as a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist. Contact Maureen directly at mbradyweir@ gmail.com. For more information on the PA Master Naturalist program visit pamasternaturalist.org. Hilary Young is a Queen Village mom and owner of Hilary Young Creative, a brand strategy and marketing consultancy. ■

What’s Up in Queen Village? Find out this week in QVNA’s eNews. Get news, facts, links and more.

bit.ly/Subscribe2eNews Another public service from QVNA.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022


PRESIDENT'S LETTER

Be the Change You Want to See By Eleanor Ingersoll, QVNA President

H

ello Neighbors,

It’s good to see and feel that the summer season is finally upon us. It was a busy first half of 2022 for QVNA. But what exactly were the projects? I’m so happy you asked. QVNA advocated and negotiated for the community on large land-use projects; continued our highly respected community zooms on the most pertinent, neighborhood-impacting issues with electeds, officials, and city leaders; and continued delivering on one of our favorite objectives: supporting like-minded neighbors who organize to improve Queen Village for everybody. Zoning has been a focal point for the neighborhood since the introduction of four new projects—three of them being by-right. Sam Olshin, QV Zoning Committee member, did a great overview of the situation in our spring issue at qvneighbor.info/by-right-development. One of those projects, the mixed-use development of the EZ parking lot at Passyunk and Bainbridge, has satisfied the required clearances and approvals from the city planning commission. It involves two retailer spots as well as 157 apartments, but there will be no public parking at the location. While neither community input nor approval was required for this project, through persistence, the development

team was open to discussing elements of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) negotiated in 2018 by QVNA and South Street Headhouse District (SSHD) for a different version of the project. I am very happy to report that there will be supportive funds coming to both Meredith and Nebinger Elementary Schools, funds for maintenance of Bainbridge Green, and funds for SSHD to offer business outreach and support during construction. That brings me to the even happier news—new life is being breathed into Bainbridge Green. Our hat is off to neighbors around the 400 block of Bainbridge who have banded together for the passion project of managing this unique strip of trees, plantings, and seating. You can read the full story—and even volunteer for the next clean-up. Check out the story on page 4. The neighborhood should also be set to see some other changes around shared community spaces—the theme of community meetings in 2022. How will changes to the state liquor law, Act 81, affect the neighborhood? How will streeteries and cafes be implemented and managed? How will construction along the waterfront roll out? All topics that brought neighbors and officials together on Zoom to exchange plans and take questions. If you missed them, you can check them out on YouTube.com/queenvillage.

We were especially proud to host a town hall with Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, our first in-person community meeting since February 2020, to discuss changes to neighborhood policing. A pandemic-plus was undoubtedly the adoption of so many rescue animals. Now, the reinvigoration of the neighborrun Mario Lanza Dog Park (more on page 9) provides a refreshed spot for these new fur-parents to meet! QVNA works diligently with the park’s volunteers there to improve amenities and grow their network and donations. As you can see, there are so many ways that QVNA supports the neighborhood, and so many ways you can get involved: on single issues or strategic initiatives that make Queen Village such a connected and neighbor-driven civic group. What’s next for the second half of 2022? Well, subscribe to our weekly eNews (qvneighbor.info/enews) so you don’t miss a single event, community meeting, or call to action (qvna.org/volunteer). Get to know your neighbors, love Queen Village—it’s that easy. See you around the neighborhood,

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 3


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

Spring Cleaning Generations of neighbors are growing a new crop of volunteers from the ground up. By Lucy Erdelac

Q

VNA volunteer Carol Weil and neighbors of Leithgow’s 700 block have come together over the years to keep their street clean. It’s a natural progression: As their kids collectively play outside on this cute alley street, parents are afforded the opportunity to socialize and plan the next clean-up. These mini events got more ambitious, as some set to cleaning westbound on Monroe, and others, under the leadership of volunteer Roy Hoffman, cleaned eastbound on Bainbridge— with both groups tackling street trash and storm drains between 4th and 5th. As these Comrades-in-Clean grew their numbers and became closer as friends, they plotted to conquer the developing neglect along Bainbridge’s interior strip: Bainbridge Green.

Charisa Kim digs in.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

and hands to care for any shared park, playground, or common land, the time was ripe for the Friends of Bainbridge Green 2.0 to form. The first goal? To clean and green the 400 block. Should their volunteer numbers continue to grow, the 300 block will be next. Today, led by Carol Weil, Friends of Bainbridge Green’s members include Donnie Broe, Eli Fish, Mai Foringer, Netta Golenberg, Briggitte Gomez, Patrick Griffin, Roy Hoffman, Charisa Kim, Sandy Kowalski, Patti Morris Rubnitz, Rory O’Brien, Rebecca Oliveira, Ryan Oliveira, and Eric Roundtree.

Friends of Bainbridge Green Chair Carol Weil and son, Giacomo take a break.

From Grassroots Movement to Friends 2.0 Volunteers are the backbone of Queen Village, energizing every facet of our community. When volunteers share a passion for the same vision, their activities can make improvements happen. About 10 years ago, the inaugural Friends of Bainbridge Green kept the 300 and 400 blocks manicured, planted, and energized. As time moved on, the original Friend Group’s volunteer numbers waned while a fenced-in jungle grew. Since it takes a good number of hearts

Patti Morris Rubnitz, Zev Hoffman, Henry Weil, and Noah Hoffman spruce things up.


What a difference three hours make

O

n March 19, the re-energized Friends of Bainbridge Green held its inaugural clean-andgreen event. Dozens of volunteers of all ages were sweeping, bagging, planting, and even painting. In three short hours, pansies and perennials were planted, benches were painted, and 62 bags of weeds and trash were filled! The 400 block of Bainbridge Green looks great—come out and help do the same for the 300 block! FriendsofBainbridgeGreen@qvna.org

Mai Foringer, Rory O'Brien, and Akija Johnson clean up.

Patrick Griffin hauls the trash.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Friends of Bainbridge Green, please let us know at FriendsofBainbridgeGreen@qvna.org, or contact QVNA at (215) 339-0975. To quote Philadelphia’s own writer and cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Rebecca and Ryan Oliveira smile for the camera.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 5


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

Over at the Courtyard On March 19, Friends of Weccacoe Playground Chair Kevin Parker (far left), Friends Group member Susan Kellogg (far right), and volunteers from the Courtyard Mentor Network (CMN) swept up and removed 63 bags of trash and debris from the playground. CMN mentees included Tahij Means, Faheem Moultrie, Christin White, Oreace Torrence, Yazeem Darby Green, Zyaire Williams, Jabril Span, Mikeal Peoples, Jaylan Thomas, Dameere Tyndale, Nakhi Peoples, Shaun Haynes, and Tariq Sabur. CMN is led by CMN founder and QVNA Vice President Justin Fishman and CMN Mentor and Comedian Gary Sharp (back row, third from left and third from right, respectively).

Learn more about CMN at www. instagram/courtyardmentornetwork.

Please donate to support CMN at bit.ly/CourtyardMentorNetwork.

At Beck Park On March 19, Friends of Beck Park volunteers of all ages swept up eight bags of leaves and debris. This pocket park gem sits at the corner of 2nd and Beck streets.

Interested in volunteering at Beck? Contact FriendsOfBeckPark@qvna.org. Want to support the beautification of Beck Park? Donate at bit.ly/FriendsOfBeckPark. ■

Left to right: Friends of Beck Park Friends volunteers Noelle and George Hofman; Ed Snyder; Dr. Tania Wismar; and Rosie, Mike, and Willa Grosberg.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022


QVNA SPOTLIGHT

QVNA Director Honored

I

n this issue, the QVNA Spotlight is on Executive Director Lucy Erdelac, who was recently recognized as a member of Women Leading the 175th, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Citation given by the Honorable Mary Isaacson to honor the impact women are making across the 175th District. The theme of the 2022 National Women’s History Month, Providing Healing, Promoting Hope, is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic as well as the extraordinary efforts of women stepping up to help their communities daily. During the shelter-in-place months of the pandem-

ic, Lucy made food insecurity a priority and worked with community partners to connect neighbors experiencing food insecurity with relief. It’s the same dedication that she puts toward her work at QVNA with zoning issues, community meetings, community clean-ups, Earth Day recycling events, and the regular newsletters that provide the most up-to-date information for Queen Village neighbors and beyond. Always ready with a bright smile, an ear for community concerns, and a plan to move forward, we thank you, Lucy, for your efforts, example, and lasting contributions to the community. ■

Whereas,

The House of Representatives Citation

the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the House of Representatives takes great pride in recognizing the contributions and achievements of those individuals and organizations whose efforts contribute so greatly to the quality of life of our residents, our communities and the nation and world around us; and

Whereas,

from Betsy Ross, who sewed together the Flag of our nation, to Mary Ware Dennett who paved the way for reproductive access and rights, to Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm, who inspired generations of women and children to demand justice and equal treatment, to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who taught us that women belong in all places that decisions are being made, to Christa McAuliffe, who urged children and the children in all of us to reach for the stars, to Kamala Harris, our nation’s first Woman Vice-President, to all the women across this nation who contribute in meaningful and far too often unsung ways, our nation has many outstanding women to celebrate in March during Women’s History Month and throughout the year; and

Whereas,

the theme for the 2022 National Women’s History Month “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all have cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history. The extraordinary sacrifice and efforts of women across the country working from home, helping with schoolwork, addressing business challenges, organizing food banks, and stepping up to help their communities not only during the COVID-19 Crisis, but daily can never be fully quantified or recognized, but through making legislative strides and taking collective action, we can honor them by fighting for equality, access, and justice every single day; and

Whereas,

the Honorable MaryLouise Isaacson has created the annual “Women Leading the 175th” recognition program, a program that recognizes and honors the impact women are making across the 175th District; and

Whereas,

Lucy Erdelac is Executive Director of Queen Village Neighbors Association. Since 2018, she has channeled her nonprofit experience, marketing expertise, and entrepreneurial know-how to reinvigorate and grow this 52-year-old organization, positioning it for even greater community impact through its volunteer-driven mission. Today, QVNA is stronger than ever in helping improve quality of life by delivering community stewardship, advocacy, and service. Service and its value to others have been a continuing theme for Lucy. Her first job, as a congressional staff caseworker, entailed helping solve constituents’ problems by cutting through government red tape. For her, that experience proved the value of service through advocacy and perseverance; and

Whereas,

while the discipline of marketing fed her entrepreneurial spirit, Lucy craved the grounding that only volunteerism can fill. An invitation to create and teach agency management courses for a Villanova certificate program helped satisfy her desire to give back in service to adults preparing for a new career. Service and its value to others are ever-changing; and

Whereas,

on the volunteer front, she expanded her focus to serve as a marketing consultant and writer for nonprofits. For more than a decade, Lucy volunteered her time and expertise through the Philadelphia Arts + Business Council. As a result of a successful public relations promotion for a small theater group, Lucy was honored with the Council’s Volunteer of the Year Award at its annual business luncheon. Another volunteer marketing project led to an invitation to join the Board of Directors of Art-Reach. Its nonprofit mission resonated with Lucy -- Art-Reach shares access to the joy of arts and culture by serving people who otherwise would not have that experience. Lucy co-chaired the Art-Reach board for nine years, helped guide its growth, and led the organization’s search for an Executive Director when the founder retired; and

Whereas,

her next career brought a reversal of roles. Now serving as Executive Director of a nonprofit, she found herself working with clients who were themselves volunteers. As chief staff officer for a nonprofit association of self-employed professional organizers, Lucy led the implementation of an aggressive strategic plan that included the integration of new technology to bring the association into the 21st century. For her achievements, Lucy was presented with the Special Service to the National Association of Professional Organizers Award for her vision, commitment, and perseverance. Lucy’s strategic vision, commitment, and perseverance are now focused on the work of QVNA: working closely with its Board of Directors and an ever-growing cadre of volunteers and guiding the implementation of its mission of improving quality of life for community residents.

Now therefore

, the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pauses to recognize and celebrate some of the outstanding contributions made by women leaders in our communities. We should always remember the words of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who inspires and challenges us daily to “fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

And directs

that a copy of this Citation, sponsored by the Honorable MaryLouise Isaacson be transmitted to Lucy Erdelac with our thanks,appreciation and gratitude for her efforts, example and lasting contributions to her community, the Commonwealth and all around the world. We hope you inspire future generations of women leaders to celebrate, honor, and treasure their history as well as make their own.

Mary Isaacson State Representative Pennsylvania House of Representatives 175th Legislative District

Why Be a QVNA Member? Because everything we do depends on neighbors like you! Your annual membership provides: Your Donation $40 $60 $120 $250 $500 $1,000

What It Supports 50 leaf bags 1 month of QVNA eNews 2 truckloads of tree mulch 1 month of graffiti removal 50 blocks of litter removal 1 modest community grant

Make your tax-deductible membership donation at QVNA/join

709 S. 5th Street ■ 215.339.0975 QVNA.org/join ■ QVNA.org/volunteer Subscribe to eNews: bit.ly/Subscribe2eNews Community meetings: YouTube.com/queenvillage

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 7


THE COMMON GOOD

Good Neighbors With a little help from QVNA, Queen Villagers joined in this spring on neighborhood improvement projects. Mother Earth and the local canine community say thanks!

BEFORE/ No one wanted to play.

New peas for the park

I

n April, Mario Lanza Dog Park was resurfaced with pea gravel, thanks to a QVNA Community Grant. Prior to submitting their grant application, volunteers researched alternative surfaces for dog playgrounds. That’s when the dog park’s volunteer leadership team of Michael DiLuca, Kelsey Lilyquist, Rebecca Olsho, Andrew Pfeiffer, and Meghan Rasmussen discovered the huge cost difference between their preferred surface and the next best thing: Dog turf, a specially designed artificial grass, came in at $45,000 and pea gravel at $3,900. That difference

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

AFTER/ Playground experts inspect the new surface.

is why—for now—pea gravel is used in the dog park. Donations are needed not only to help volunteers maintain the dog park but also to improve its surface with dog turf. Annual membership for Mario Lanza Dog Park is $50 (bit.ly/MarioLanzaDogPark). Membership and donations can be made on Venmo @MarioLanzaDogPark. Interested in volunteering at the park and meeting a great crew of dig-dedicated neighbors? Contact MarioLanzaDogPark@qvna.org. See the dog park in action at www.instagram.com/mariolanzadogpark.

Let's play ball!


THE COMMON GOOD E-cycling for Earth Day On April 23, QVNA hosted its third electronics recycling and document shredding event, sponsored by State Rep. Mary Isaacson and supported by Councilmember Mark Squilla. Hundreds of computers, phones, tablets, and electronic devices; miles of cords; enough VCR tapes to fill a library; six 1970s-era floor speakers; and one vintage typewriter were collected. This year, document shredding was equally popular. Neighbors watched as their old insurance policies, bank statements, and tax returns were shredded—the first step to recycling them into new paper products like paper towels and tissues. In just three hours, Queen Villagers diverted several thousand pounds of recyclable materials from city landfills. QVNA thanks everyone who participated in our Earth Week 2022 event. ■

Councilmember Mark Squilla and State Rep. Mary Isaacson admired Mike Mazur’s vintage typewriter.

Fun Fact: In 1977, when VHS tapes were introduced in the U.S., a blank tape cost $20 and a VCR cost $1,200.

Samantha Pearson, Chief of Staff for Rep. Isaacson, with the iconic iMac G4.

Helping neighbors empty carloads of documents for shredding are Joseph McAteer and Suzanne Ward,

Neighbors enjoyed watching their old documents be

Neighbors throughout Queen Village unplugged and

members of Rep. Isaacson’s staff.

shredded on site.

e-cycled.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 9


QV LIFE

The Butterfly Effect One dedicated Queen Villager is planting his garden to attract butterflies.

John Amadio starts seedlings of butterflies’ three favorite foods.

Q

VNA volunteer and eco-activist John Amadio loves butterflies. His goal is to attract more to Queen Village. Knowing that butterflies feed on weeds, John provides them with a meal with appeal: Joe Pye Weed. (Butterflies love its nectar.) However, Monarch butterflies, an endangered species, must eat milkweed to survive. That’s why John plants two different kinds to choose from: Swamp and Butterfly Milkweed. ■

Lifecycle of a butterfly

A Monarch and Swallowtail share Swamp Milkweed.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022


Interested in Running for the QVNA Board? Six positions are on this year’s ballot. QVNA’s Board of Directors uphold our mission of community stewardship, advocacy, and service. On November 16, Queen Villagers will elect six board members to serve from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024. Six open positions:

Candidate eligibility:

■ President ■ Vice President ■ Directors (4)

■ Queen Village* resident, 18+ years of age ■ Attended in person 2+ QVNA-sponsored meetings this year (community, zoning, or committee meetings)

Role of QVNA’s Board: Our Board of Directors establishes QVNA’s strategic direction, budget, and priorities. It focuses resources to deliver programs and services, addressing the issues and concerns of residents. Role of each Board Member: As an at-large community leader, each board member represents our entire community -- not just a few blocks or a single issue. Each spends 80-100 hours/year in service to keep QVNA strong and help neighbors connect with elected officials, departmental leaders, and enforcement agencies. Your Role: Since QVNA’s founding in 1969, hundreds of neighbors have stepped up to this important community role. Who do you know who is ready to step up this year? How about you?

QVNA helps improve quality of life in our community. How this happens is up to neighbors like you.

For more information:

QVNA.org ■ 215.339.0975 ■ WeCare@qvna.org

QVNA.org/bod-candidates * Queen Village boundaries are from the south side of Lombard Street to the north side of Washington Avenue and from the east side of 6th Street to the Delaware River, including the docks.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 11


THE COMMONS

The Power of Native Plants A guide to responsible urban gardening that includes tips on planting to protect our ecosystem. By Maureen Weir

T

A member of the sunflower family, Helianthus divaricatus (the woodland sunflower) also attracts pollinators.

Photo: Maureen Weir

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

he thought of an ecosystem often brings to mind images of dense forests, expansive coastal habitats, or remote environments like the ones you read about in National Geographic. But the truth is, if you stand on any sidewalk in Queen Village, you are surrounded by an ecosystem. All too often, urban environments are viewed as separate from the natural world, but that is far from the truth. While you are standing on that sidewalk, look around at the surrounding plant life. Look up at the birds flying by. Why are they there? Is it because of the types of trees growing on your block? Is it due to our neighborhood’s proximity to the Delaware River? Or perhaps there is a particular food source thriving nearby? Naturalist John Muir once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” This truth applies as much to our own neighborhood as it does to anywhere else. Our urban community is part of a larger ecosystem, and we are connected to everything in it. The good news is that by simply keeping this fact top of mind while tending to our gardens, we can all do our part to promote a healthier ecosystem.

Container gardens, window boxes, and green spaces do more than just pretty up our sidewalks, stoops, and neighborhood. They provide valuable food sources and shelter for wildlife and other organisms—which is why it is so important to use native plants. Using native plants creates greater biodiversity by sustaining the organisms that coexist within the same ecosystem. For example, native plants attract insects that many birds in our neighborhood need to survive. Nonnative plants may not attract those insects and thus jeopardize a critical food source for the birds. That’s because species that evolve in the same ecosystem are connected to one another. Take one out and the others feel the impact. Put something in that hasn’t evolved here, and it creates a chain reaction that may have negative results. Getting started with native plants is easier than you think, with websites like the Audubon Society offering a database listing native plants based on zip code. Some common suggestions for our area include various species of goldenrod, black-eyed susan, purple coneflower, bee balm, and milkweed. These plants attract native bees, butterflies, and other


Asclepias tuberosa, aka butterfly weed or butterfly milkweed, was used to treat smallpox in the 1800s. Today, it is prized for its butterfly-attracting qualities.

pollinators, which all need our help due to diminishing green spaces and the increased use of pesticides. Speaking of pesticides, you may think using certain chemicals gets rid of only the insects in your garden, but what you use has a direct effect on the birds that eat those insects. Again, everything is connected, which is why it is also important to use only non-toxic, environmentally safe products. Incorporating native plants into urban gardens offers other benefits as well. Since they evolved here, they are better suited for our climate, require less maintenance, and are less likely to require pesticides. Available in all shapes, sizes, and colors, they also provide the same level of beauty as exotic species. Native plants can usually be purchased from reputable nurseries—or keep an eye out for nativeplant sales sponsored by area nature preserves or gardening groups. If creating your own native urban garden isn’t in your immediate future,

Photo: Maureen Weir consider getting involved with one of our Queen Village gardening groups. In fact, to see our local ecosystem in action, stroll down to any of these community spaces and sit on a bench for a few minutes. You are sure to see a wide variety of birds nesting in the trees, hanging out in the hedges, or digging up insects for food. Look closely and you might just spot butterflies and bees flitting from flower to flower and dispersing the pollen so essential to the survival of so many species. The bottom line: We are all a part of nature as much as nature is a part of us. The decisions we make and the actions we take really do have an impact. The good news is that it doesn’t take a huge effort to make a positive contribution. Simply planting a garden of any size and giving thought to what you’re planting could make all the difference in the world—or at least in our own ecosystem. ■

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 13


FEATURE: BOB PIERSON FARMERS’ MARKET GODFATHER

Photo: R. Kennedy, Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Farm to Philly A pioneer in Philadelphia’s farm-to-table movement, Bob Pierson was instrumental in the creation of the beloved Headhouse Farmers’ Market. By Suzanne Dreitlein

I

t’s easy to take our connection to history for granted, but our neighborhood is one of the oldest European settlements in America. Even before Swedish settlers arrived in 1638, the indigenous Lenape called Queen Village a “pleasant place.” For centuries, the heart of a neighborhood was its gathering place—the market—where those who produce food

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

and wares bring their goods to those who don’t, along with news and much welcome social interaction. When you visit present-day Headhouse Farmers’ Market, you are literally walking through more than 250 years of history. Originally established by Joseph Wharton and Edward Shippen in 1745, “New Market” brought food and a vari-

ety of products to the rapidly growing population of Society Hill. In the following years, the plaza would grow to more than two blocks long and become a more solid entity with the brick arcade we’re familiar with today and two “headhouses” being erected at both ends, one of which still exists. During this time, the market, and neighboring buildings, would grow


to be the center of a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. The first of now more than 30 modern producer-only outdoor farmers’ markets in Philadelphia opened in 1996 at South and Passyunk by Queen Village resident Bob Pierson, Howard Lander, Frank Hobson, and other neighbors. The South Street Headhouse District and Queen Village Neighbors Association supported their efforts. That success got Pierson a job with the Food Trust to set up its community market program. “In 1999, we looked for new market sites,” Pierson says, “and I looked into the one that was closest to me here, which was Headhouse, but there was a craft fair there at that time. So we set up the market on Second Street from Lombard to South Street.” Pierson’s interest in farm-to-table, and the role farmers’ markets play in that model, started from his childhood in Bucks County. His father was a landscape architect who later went into city planning and had a keen interest in saving farmland. A seed was planted in Pierson to find how to incentivize small farmers to keep their farms—and farmers’ mar-

Photo: R. Kennedy, Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

The drawing by Frank H. Taylor shows the New Market head house in the 1920s. In the background is the old mansion of John Ross. Courtesy of The Library Company of Pennsylvania.

kets offered a solution. “It saves farmland. People get fresher food. The farmers get to know the people they’re growing their food for and the customers get to know the farmers,” Pierson says, adding, “the other benefit is that the food producers

sell directly to the customers and net almost the full customer dollar. Other ways they sell usually give a much lower return.” This economic incentive for the farmers is key to having a successful market and helps sustain the farmers’ market

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 15


FEATURE: BOB PIERSON FARMERS’ MARKET GODFATHER

Photos: R. Kennedy, Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

as well as their small farms and the agricultural lifestyle. “What’s surprising is how quickly it’s grown,” Pierson says. When he started his first market at South and Passyunk, they sold $40,000 of food the first year. Now, Pierson’s farm-to-city programs account for over $5 million in annual sales by farmers and food artisans, which ensures there are enough people to coordinate and run the markets. Over the past two years, COVID-19 presented a chance to re-evaluate our relationship to food and how we obtain it. Outdoor markets have offered people a well-ventilated alternative to indoor shopping and a chance to see neighbors—a welcome respite from isolation. When buying directly from farmers, food has less of a chance to get caught up in a supply chain quagmire and, thus, potential shortages. Additionally, our weekly Headhouse Farmers’ Market, which we’ve grown accustomed to over the past decade, is a touchpoint of normalcy when so much has changed. The Headhouse Farmers Market continues to be managed by the Food Trust and features produce and food products that are locally sourced, locally produced, and aligned with what the customers are looking for, thanks to an annual survey. In addition, says Meghan Filoromo, senior associate of the Farmers Market Program, “on behalf of the farmers and vendors, the Food Trust accepts SNAP/EBT benefits (state-funded and approved nutritional assistance) and distributes Food Bucks (fruit and vegetable coupons). What many people don’t know is that you can use SNAP/EBT benefits to purchase food-producing seeds and starts. At this time of year, many farmers are selling a variety of seeds and starts.” During the winter months through


May 1, the Headhouse Farmers’ Market runs on a winter schedule, every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In May, the normal schedule—10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—resumes. A full list of hours and vendors, plus their distance from Philadelphia, is located at thefoodtrust.org/farmers-markets/ market/headhouse. Check out the option to order online and pick up on market day at Headhouse. With the varied options for payment (SNAP/EBT/P-EBT cards, Food Bucks, WIC, and vouchers for Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), credit cards, and, of course, cash), there is no reason not to head over to the weekend market at Headhouse and enjoy Bob Pierson’s vision for modern-day farm-to-table for everyone. ■

WALK & TALK TOUR The home buying process can be complicated but Liz Lutz, Realtor at PhillyLiving and Chris Meeker, Loan Officer at Center City Mortgage and Investments are here to help guide you in the right direction. We'll visit three to four homes of various price points

Check out Queen Village's hottest attractions and learn about the neighborhood Gain a better understanding of the home buying process

SATURDAY, JULY 9 11AM-1PM To attend, scan the QR code! Photo: Nancy Brokaw

Liz Lutz, REALTOR® • (o) 215.392.0230 • (c) 215.850.6827

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 17


IT TAKES A VILLAGE

In Remembrance Building a community, in three words, takes a village. That is why it is important to acknowledge volunteers and neighbors for their contributions to the greater good that makes our area a special place to live. Please read, learn, and remember those who put community as a top priority.

Joe Alkus By Claudia Archer On February 19, the collective neighborhoods of Bella Vista and Queen Village lost an outstanding community leader with the the passing of Joseph D. Alkus. After a 35-year career in law enforcement, the majority spent as a U.S. Customs special agent with Homeland Security, a second career found him teaching at Temple University.

people—even through the pandemic. He facilitated conversations with the Streets Department and the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability on safety issues important to both neighborhoods. But it didn’t end there; he served on the boards of the Bella Vista Neighbors Association and the BVNA and Police District Advisory Commission, wrote grants to pursue violence reduction initiatives, coordinated city services issues on behalf of both Queen Village and Bella Vista neighbors, and simply made a huge impact in his 65 years. Joe was a devoted husband, brother, uncle, honorary father figure, and outstanding neighbor to many, and, while his loss is felt by many, they celebrate his life and contributions.

Marvin Cohen

But for neighbors engaging with our 3rd District Police, Joe was the liaison who worked to bring Town Halls to the

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

As relayed by Mitch and Anna Marie Cohen On January 27, 2022, Queen Village lost Marvin Cohen, the third of four generations to lead the family business, Cohen Hardware. He was 92. Cohen Hardware is synonymous with South Street, housed in a succession of addresses and sizes for over 100 years.

Born in 1929, Marvin grew up on South Street. In 1913, his grandfather and father opened and operated Cohen Hardware on the first floor of their house at 911 South Street, then called B. Cohen for his grandfather, Barnett. The business then moved to 534 South Street and was called P. Cohen, for his father, Phillip. It then moved to 417 South Street, and the name was simply Cohen Hardware. Seeing the potential for South Street and its business clientele, he opened a lumber yard at that location. Marvin and Marilyn sold the building to Pearl Arts in 1996, at which time they retired. His son Mitchell and daughter-in-


law Anna Marie opened a new location for Cohen Hardware at 615 E. Passyunk later in 1996. Marvin and his wife, Marilyn, loved being grandparents in every sense of the word—not only to the grandchildren but also to the store. They stepped in to help on weekends and vacations so they could be back in the thick of things but still be able to turn it back over to Mitchaell and Anna Marie after they did their part. “That was the best part for them,” says Mitchell, “seeing customers, talking old stories.” Harkening back to the old days, there are still house charge accounts at Cohen Hardware, held over from the old days. “The old stories never go away,” Mitchell reminisces.

together funds to invest in real estate. He was passionate about its history and marveled at its growth as a vital, diverse community. After moving to Queen Village in 1980, Jon became a familiar face, taking the time to chat with many neighbors and shopkeepers while walking the family dogs, Taj and Trevi. He loved to hear stories and would always offer a ‘that’s fantastic,’ as he sincerely cared about each individual. Jonathan married and raised a family at 5th and Fitzwater streets. In June 2021, he and his wife, Mona, moved to Northern California to be close to their son. Jon passed on February 10, 2022, almost reaching his 80th Birthday. As Jon would often say with a smile, “Be yourself, do your best, and stay positive.”

Jonathan Liss

Susan Mc Gonagle

By Mona Liss Jonathan Liss was a resident of Queen Village for more than 42 years, first discovering the neighborhood in the 1960s when he and some college buddies banded

By Mary and Roger Randall On October 12, 2021, Queen Village lost a friend, advocate, and community cheerleader with the passing of Susan Mc Gonagle. A resident of Queen Village for many years, Susan raised her family, worked as an interior decorator, and often spearheaded projects and programs to benefit the community. One of her early initiatives was to involve Queen Village in the city’s annual Philadelphia Open House program, which supported Friends of Independence Hall. It showcased the homes, parks, and history of city neighborhoods. She was instrumental in getting residents to open their homes as well as recruiting “house sitters” to volunteer during the event. The tour provided a forum to showcase residential rehabilitation and historic preservation. Susan and her husband, Bob, fully engaged in the program by regularly opening their own home at

910 S. Front Street as part of the Open House program. In support of Shot Tower Recreation Center, Susan initiated several neighborhood fundraising parties. One early event that attracted both neighborhood newcomers and long-term residents was a Pink Panther-themed dinner, dance, and silent auction in the mid-1990s. It was followed up by an equally successful Evening Under the Stars event. Funds raised were used to purchase equipment, landscaping plants, and supply paint for Shot Tower volunteer improvement programs. Susan was heavily involved in the Down Home Days fundraising program for Mario Lanza Park. The event brought square dancing demonstrations, a chili cook-off, bake sales, and fire truck tours to the park, which was decorated with mums and hay bales. Susan served for several years as a member of the QVNA Board. Her efforts were instrumental in building community spirit and pride in Queen Village. Her leadership and generosity will be missed. ■

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 19


OUT AND ABOUT

I Dreamed a Dream of Japan Philadelphia rocks the 2022 James Beard nominations— including one of Queen Village’s own favorite restaurants. By Michael and Cait Allen

O

n March 16, 2022, the James Beard Foundation announced its nominees for the 2022 James Beard Awards. In the Best Chef category for the Mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC), Philadelphia earned three of the five nominations: Christina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa in Bella Vista; Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon of Kalaya Thai Kitchen, also in Bella Vista (though we get dibs on her as a QV resident!); and lastly Jesse Ito at Queen Village’s own, Royal Izakaya.

A glass of sake poured in the masu spillover style.

Photo: Michael Allen

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

Royal Izakaya (780 S. 2nd St.) Sake merchants first offered patrons a place to sit and drink centuries ago. They joined the words iru (to stay) and sakaya (sake shop), thus birthing the modernday Japanese-style pub or izakaya. Royal Izakaya’s chef-owner Jesse Ito began his craft preparing sushi in Fuji, his father’s restaurant in Haddonfield, New Jersey. When he turned his thoughts to a new “cool, dark, moody Japanese pub,” Queen Village had the “perfect vibe.” The building’s façade, tin ceiling, and brick walls have all been preserved and incorporated into this fusion of shadowy-hipenergy-meets-Philadelphia-history. We began with a sake poured spillover style in its square masu. (As a pair of sake newbies, we did get clearance to pour the generosity back into the glass— waste not want not!) We also sampled the Cherry Blossom cocktail, a bourbonbased complexity that layers sesame, lemon, and cherry. The real excursion began with a delicate spinach salad and burdock root— nicely crunchy with a bit of zing. After the first bite of the spectacular pork buns, we gripped our seats to keep from leaping, falling, exclaiming. We then dissolved into a soft and unctuous tuna guacamole so delicious we started to wonder, “Is all of this even real?” We were floored. After brushing off our pants, we were presented with a stunning assortment

Baby spinach salad and burdock root.

Photo: Michael Allen

Flown in direct from Japan, a stunning assortment of sashimi.

Photo: Michael Allen


Jesse Ito.

Courtesy Royal Izakaya

of sashimi flown in from Japan (also featured in Chef Ito’s omakase experience—a tasting menu personally created for eight guests lucky enough to pass the waiting list). Talk about a cut above! Finally, the dessert creations featured delicate complexities—a sesame panna cotta and a tea-ceremony-worthy tiramisu. Back on the street, we turned to the door and the signature red paper lantern that signifies an izakaya. Was it real or was it a dream? Only with lots of return visits will we know for sure. ■

Photo: Michael Allen

O L D

Services All are welcome. Holy Communion Sundays, 10:00AM Live and Streaming on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ gloriadeioldswedes/ Evensong Tuesdays, 6:30PM A service of quiet prayer, meditation and song. https://bit.ly/3gAgLAb Meeting ID: 834 5987 6076 Passcode: 988017

Sesame panna cotta and tiramisu to top off the meal!

Photo: Michael Allen

S W E D E S’

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church invites you to join us. We are a church where progressive Christianity is preached, black lives matter, LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, white supremacy is rejected, no human is illegal, science is real, love is love, and kindness is everything. — Fr. Koshy Mathews and the Congregation of Gloria Dei

Say “I Do” at Philadelphia’s newest historic wedding venue

Columbus Blvd. & Christian Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-389-1513 www.old-swedes.org

https://bit.ly/3NapaId

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 21


SCHOOL BELL

School’s Out! An informal guide to what the city has to offer for kids when the final school bell rings and the temperatures start to rise. By Hilary Young

F

or many schools in and around Philadelphia, the last day of instruction is mid-June or before. And while many families might already have summer plans in place, there are undoubtedly “gap weeks” to fill. So, what to do during the interim weeks in June with your school-aged kids? We have you covered:

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

Phield House

Fleisher Art Memorial

814 Spring Garden St. phieldhouse.com The Phield House, an indoor sports facility at 8th and Spring Garden, offers weekly athletic camps for students aged 6 through 12, starting the week of June 13. Your kids can attend this camp to “enjoy a full day of activities, sports and socialization in our climate-controlled state-ofthe-art facility.” And for older kids (ages 8-12), Phield House is also offering a new outdoor sports camp this summer at FDR Park. All of the camps are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; however, they provide parents with the opportunity to add before or after care should they need it.

719 Catharine St. fleisher.org A neighborhood favorite, Fleisher Art Memorial is offering “a series of fun and immersive workshops designed for young artists ages 5-18.” These workshops begin June 20 and run through July 29. Parents can sign their kiddos up for either full- or half-day workshops in which they can explore a variety of mediums, including printmaking, traditional darkroom photography, fiber arts, ceramics, and graphic novels. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs through noon for the half-day participants and, for the full-day enrolees, offers a 4:30 p.m. pickup.


B"H

JUDAISM.

done joy philly

Queen Village School of Rock 421 N. 7th St. schoolofrock.com During the week of June 20, Philadelphia’s School of Rock is offering a special five-day Beatles-themed camp for music-lovers who want to take a deep dive into the iconic band’s catalog of music. Ideal for students who have had previous music instruction, this week-long camp is essentially a long rehearsal for a live performance that will take place on the final day of camp. Musically inclined children between the ages of 7 and 18 can spend Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rocking out to The Beatles. For those who would want to continue into the following week (June 27), School of Rock will have a Green Daythemed camp.

Volunteers

School

Ages K-5 Monday & Wednesday 3:30-5:30 PM REGISTER AT JEWISHPRESCHOOL.ORG/JKC or call (215) 238-2100

Sign up @ QVNA.org/Volunteer

SCHOOL PICK-UP OPTION

Philly Dance Fitness 1923 Chestnut St. phillydancefitness.com Located in Center City, Philly Dance Fitness is offering full-day weeklong dance camps starting June 15. With a heavy focus on dance, these camps also integrate some musical theater and drama classes, as well as setting aside time for some outdoor play at nearby parks. The regular day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but before and after care are also offered as add-on options. Every Friday, your tiny dancers will show off their new skills with an informal 30-minute presentation for parents. ■

hebrew

Direct: 267-225-3678 Office: 215-627-3500 deidre@deidrequinn.com deidrequinn.com 1619 Walnut St, 4th FL Philadelphia, PA 19103

Knowledge and Experience Combined with Your Best Interests in Mind

Deidre is the agent you need when buying a property. She has great local knowledge and connections that was a huge help. Having an experienced agent like Deidre really makes the buying experience a lot less stressful.

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 23


SOUTH STREET BEAT

Making History The South Street History Museum opens its doors— and a window—into the storied past of Philadelphia’s hippest street. By Joel Spivak

M

y tenure as self-appointed curator of South Street memorabilia began in 1970, when I was hired by Ruth and Rick Snyderman to build a store at 319 South St., which became The Works Gallery. The space still had its display cases and other artifacts left by the previous owners, who had departed abruptly due to the approaching Crosstown Expressway, and they all looked too interesting to throw away. I bagged them all up and wrote the address and date on the bag to review later. As I renovated other vacant stores around South Street, I found even more interesting contents and knickknacks and packed them up as well for some unknown future use. In 1974, Eddie Beckerman decided to change his Mexican import store at 337 South St. into something else. He asked me if I wanted the space for a while, so I took all the bags of artifacts I had col-

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

lected along with memorabilia created by “The Renaissance,” such as battle signs against the Crosstown Expressway and street festival posters, to create the first South Street Museum. The museum was featured in Philadelphia Magazine later that year. Everyone who came into that museum location had a South Street story to tell. They had either shopped on the street years ago, or they had relatives who had a pushcart back in the day. After a few months, I boxed up everything so

Eddie could open the Blue Angel Café. In 1980, the South Street Business Association (precursor to the South Street Headhouse District), the oldest business association in Philadelphia, was celebrating its 110th anniversary, so I reconstructed the museum at The Painted Bride Art Center, then located on the 500 block of South Street, currently Garland of Letters. I borrowed a pushcart from the Atwater Kent Museum: It was the highlight of the exhibit. When the Renaissance celebrated its


20th anniversary in 1990, I was given a large empty storefront at South and Leithgow streets. The exhibit was mainly about the South Street Renaissance, its accomplishments, and how it influenced the City of Philadelphia. The exhibit included the artifacts I had collected 20 years earlier. But the old documents and other items were not surviving well; they needed to go into an established museum. I invited the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to look at the collection. They loved it and agreed to add everything to their collection. This was a milestone: The Hippy History and the South Street Renaissance became official notes in Pennsylvania history. A few years later, I started collecting items from new businesses in the area. Also, through word of mouth, people who had moved away would give me anything they had from the 70s, 80s, and beyond. Occasionally I would have a display in the windows at 703 South 4th St., and last year I had an exhibit at the Neon Museum of Philadelphia, which has a few neon signs from South Street. Most recently, the South Street Headhouse District occupied the space at 523

Left: A poster for the 2017 exhibition about the Crosstown Expressway battle; right: A handmade poster calling residents to fight the project. Vigorously opposed by a coalition of neighborhood groups, the plan was formally defeated in 1974. Opposite page: A selection of posters from back in the day.

S. 4th St. in the fall and winter of 2021. They offered me the opportunity to decorate the walls with posters, photographs, old signs, and T-shirts. The South Street Headhouse District Offices have now moved to the iconic Zipperhead building, located at 407 South St., identifiable by the larger-thanlife-sized zipper and ants on the exterior.

This space will become a tourist destination, visitor center, and spotlight for the history of South Street. My collection will be a cornerstone in their larger historical showcase and provide visitors the opportunity to learn about the accomplishments of the South Street Renaissance and the battle of the Crosstown Expressway. Look forward to seeing you there. ■

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 25


HOW IT WORKS

Under More Construction Following up on last issue’s article on zoning, one of our zoning committee members outlines the intricacies of construction and permitting.

By Sam Olshin

W

hile individual home and business owners look to renovate and expand their properties periodically, professional development firms often look to do larger projects to leverage the opportunities afforded to them by low interest rates, the vitality of the neighborhood, and the Philadelphia Zoning Code. Queen Village, although one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, is not a designated historic district for a variety

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

of reasons. Many structures within the neighborhood, however, are individually historically designated. Any work on the façades of historic structures within the neighborhood is required to be submitted to the Philadelphia Historic Commission (PHC) for review, comment, and approval as part of the building permit application process. This only applies for historically designated buildings and also only to the building’s exteriors. Unlike in New York City, the powers of the

PHC do not apply to any interior modifications of historic properties. One can learn more about which property addresses are historically designated at bit.ly/Phila_Historical_Commission. The majority of projects involving construction or demolition (in whole or in part) require a building permit. However, smaller-scale improvements like cabinetry, painting, new interior finishes, non-historic masonry pointing, specific fencing, and sheds do not require a permit. Queen Village is fortunate that it has its own Neighborhood Zoning Overlay District. This overlay provides stipulations and restrictions, including types of businesses, as well as limiting the use of vinyl or aluminum siding for exterior building materials where visible to the public. One can access property information by address online, related to permits, inspections, violations, and licenses at atlas.phila.gov. Those concerned about their building’s stability or underpinning when adjacent construction involves deep excavation can access information at bit.ly/ Adjacent_Construction. Typically you must get a building permit before starting a project that: • Constructs a new building. • Enlarges or adds to an existing structure. • Changes the interior or exterior of an existing structure.


• Partially or fully demolishes a structure. • Changes the occupancy classification of any part of a building. • Increases the occupant load in a space. • Includes major repairs that aren’t part of regular maintenance. • Includes 5,000 sq. ft. or more of earth disturbance. Some proposed projects are eligible for an EZ Permit (bit.ly/Phila_EZ_Permit), which does not require the submittal of any architect or engineer-stamped plans, only a building permit application. Plans are typically not required for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work in new residential construction projects. In most cases, one must get a Zoning Permit, (bit.ly/Philadelphia_Zoning_Permit) before one can apply for a building permit. Any work that does not conform to the zoning and building permit process is considered illegal. If it is built illegally and does not follow the aforementioned process, it is subject to fines, legal action, and may be required to be safely dismantled following inspection and direction by the Department of Licenses and Inspections. This has happened at least once in the neighborhood in recent memory. Building within the city limits can be both a rewarding and challenging endeavor. As a unique neighborhood within Philadelphia, Queen Village is characterized by architectural diversity and vitality. The goal of the permitting process is to protect private property and promote life safety issues while balancing preservation, adaptive re-use, and contemporary intervention. So before embarking on an extensive project, it is important to hire experienced and licensed architectural, engineering, and construction professionals, when required, who can assist in guiding the project through the process to best ensure a successful outcome. ■

Keep QV beautiful!

Legal Advice at Home

Become a Block Ambassador and work with neighbors on block clean-ups and plantings!

1st Phone Consult

FREE

LAWYER FOR 53 YEARS GENERAL LEGAL SERVICES I can assist you to:

Interested?

Sell or rent your property at a substantial savings compared to the usual legal or realtor fees

Visit qvna.org/ blockambassadors

OR Manage your property if you are an absentee owner or landlord.

215-370-4231 Marv Factor, Esquire 928 E. Moyamensing Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19147 MFactor@LawyerFactor.com

Email to Printer: MFactor@HPeprint.com

Nuisance has no home here. If an ALCOHOL-LICENSED business becomes a community NUISANCE, submit your complaint at QVNA.org/nuisance. After calling 911, you can report nuisance behavior by an alcohol-licensed business on QVNA.org. Reportable nuisance behavior includes: • Alcohol from the business being brought outside • Minors consuming alcohol • Drug use • Crowd control issues

• • • •

Loud noise or music Loud and boisterous crowds Fights Trash and debris

Your submitted report notifies law enforcement and government officials of our neighborhood’s NightLife Task Force. It is not a substitute for calling 911.

Find out more information at www.qvna.org/nuisance

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 27


QV HISTORY

Going, Going … Gone? A Queen Village landmark goes on the market. Piers 38 and 40 are listed for sale—and nominated for historic designation.

I

n Queen Village, a piece of Philadelphia maritime history has gone on the market: Piers 38 and 40, located on Columbus Boulevard between Queen and Christian streets. In October, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (aka PhilaPort) named the Binswanger commercial real estate firm the exclusive agent for the sale. The 8.8-acre parcel of land houses a pair of two-story warehouses, each of which measures 180,000 square feet. Offered as a single lot, the site is zoned CMX3, which allows large-scale commercial and retail uses and multifamily residential use. According to Binswanger Senior Vice President Chris Pennington, local and national developers expressed interest in the piers. Councilman Mark Squilla’s office reports that a letter of intent to purchase the property is on record. A potential complication for development of the site is a bid to the Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC) for the two piers to be listed on the city’s register of historic places. The nomination cites them as “distinctive landmarks that inform the city of Philadelphia’s architectural, civic, cultural, developmental, economic, social, and visual heritage.” Key to the historic designation is the piers’ Beaux-Arts architecture. That style was typical of the City Beautiful movement, a turn-of-the-century city planning philosophy that promoted the beautification of American cities not only for the sake of beauty but also to encourage civic pride and virtue. In Philadelphia, the

QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER \\ SUMMER 2022

Benjamin Franklin Parkway was its bestknown product. Piers 38 and 40 were constructed between 1914 and 1915 as part of a municipal program to enlarge the Port of Philadelphia. They were built as “doubledeckers”: Once the ship unloaded Philadelphia-bound cargo at the top deck, outbound cargo was loaded from the bottom. In the 1950s, the site was retrofitted to accommodate container shipping. But containerization finally rendered the piers obsolete. Without a historic designation, the buildings could be demolished. Both are, however, structurally sound enough for redevelopment, and historic designation would not mandate height restrictions. According to PHC Executive Director Joseph Farnham, the nomination propos-

ing the historic designation of the piers was postponed at the request of the property owner. The nomination will be reviewed at a public meeting of the advisory Committee on Historic Designation on June 15 and at a public meeting of the Historical Commission on July 8. During the postponement, the property is treated as though it is designated as historic. PhilaPort, an independent agency of the Commonwealth, aims for the sale to raise additional capital for expansion plans, including more warehouses near the Packer Avenue and Tioga Marine Terminals and a new Southport Auto Terminal, a deepwater berth south of the Packer Terminal. Unlike the City of Philadelphia, the agency is not required to meet typeof-use or diversity or community-benefit conditions for the property. ■


QUEEN VILLAGE QUARTERLY CRIER // PAGE 29


PATRICK CONWAY 912 S. Front St.

KC

215.266.1537

215.627.6005

PATRICK@CONWAYTEAM.COM

CONWAY TEAM

$2.5 Million

Ranked 19th Place in Residential Units Sold in the United States!

6 Bedroom - 51/2 Bath - 6 Car Parking FOR MORE INFORMATION & A LIST OF OUR INVENTORY, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS, OPEN HOUSES & VIRTUAL TOURS GO TO: WWW.CONWAYTEAM.COM

QUEEN VILLAGE & VICINITY TRANSACTIONS IN THE PAST 2 MONTHS 201 Queen St. #2

Dockside PH5 & 1002

117 Lombard St.

758 S. Front St.

PENDING

238 Bainbridge St.

SOLD

115 Monroe St.

300 Kauffman St.

315-17 Monroe St. #5

246 Fitzwater St.

1 Queen St. #16A

947 S. 2nd St.

771 S. 2nd St.

1025 S. Randolph St.

854 S. Front St.

215 Bainbridge St.

781 S. 2nd St.

610 S. Hancock St.

509 Cypress St.

717 S. Columbus Blvd. #1415

112 Dickinson St.

763-65 E. Passyunk Ave.

815 S. 4th St.

410 S. Front St.

129 Catharine St.

241 Bainbridge St.

746 E. Passyunk Ave.

If ten stars were an option that would be my rating. From initial meeting, to review agreements, house valuation, screening of potential buyers, representing us in negotiations, closing documents, and receiving payment everything went without a single hitch or bump. Pat’s multimedia advertisement was highly professional and far superior to the home we bought, and that was in an exclusive community. For buying or selling a home in Queen Village, Bella Vista, Society Hill, Pennsport, and surrounding areas you won't go wrong with The Conway Team. By the way our house sold in three days 2% over list. - jmillerqcw 90% OF OUR BUSINESS COMES FROM FRIENDS TELLING FRIENDS. THANK YOU SINCERELY!