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East Parkside

    • One of Centennial Commons rustic play areas | Studio Bryan Hanes

$11 million in foundation grants announced for five parks

What can $11 million buy in park projects? A new collaborative initiative announced Monday by the John S. and James L. Knight and William Penn foundations hopes $11 million in new…

    • Skyline from Belmont Plateau | Gary Reed, EOTS Flickr Group

Back to the future to renew Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park is like Philadelphia itself: A legacy asset with unrealized potential. We are the lucky beneficiaries of the prescient 19th century Philadelphians who protected great green lungs astride the Schuylkill…

Connectivity at the heart of “The New Fairmount Park”

The fact that Fairmount Park attracts seven million visitors each year shows that the park is doing something right. But why let the crown jewel of Philadelphia’s park system (and the…



East/West Parkside is a neighborhood in West Philadelphia. It is bound by Farimount Park to the northeast, 52nd Street to the northwest, Lancaster Avenue to the southwest, from West Girard Avenue to 36th Street to the southeast. The neighborhood is bisected into East Parkside and West Parkside by Belmont Avenue. The area was almost completely undeveloped until the city of Philadelphia chose this land as the location of the fairground of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, the United States's first world's fair. The fair included 250 pavilions from 37 different countries and attracted over 10 million people. The fair also brought development to this area; many buildings were constructed for the fair-goers. With the end of the fair came the destruction of all buildings in the area except for Memorial Hall and Horticulture Hall and addtionally the Philadelphia Zoo, built in 1873. Philadelphia's booming economy caused Center City to overcrowd and many residents moved out to West Philadelphia. The 1895 trolley line increased the area's popularity. Developers Frederick Poth and Joseph Schmidt hired various architects to create individualistic Victorian style homes. Poth and Schmidt dubbed the area Parkside for its location. The area attracted wealthy German-American commuters and others who were attracted to the Zoo and the Philadelphia Art Museum, located in Memorial Hall. As the 20th century took its course, the area became less popular for commuters and changed into a Jewish-American and later African-American community. Today the area has become  blighted, but residents are building a better future for their neighborhood.



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