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    • Siddiq Thurman, Ayeashi Daniels and Eleni Zorn (L to R) agree the improvements make their pool more fun.

Spotted: A poolside pop-up in Francisville

Built-in wooden deck loungers and palm trees overlook clear blue water, and patio sets grace the lawn. These are not the view of amenities at a luxury building but at Francisville…

    • May 12, 1954: Divine Lorraine, Broad and Fairmount | Parker and Mullikin, Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Collection
    • UPDATED: The Imperative Divine Lorraine

New grant completes financing for Divine Lorraine

Eric Blumenfeld now has all the money he needs to revive the Divine Lorraine, the iconic former hotel that has towered over North Broad Street for years, vacant since 1999, collecting…



Francisville, once home to William Penn’s personal vineyard, is a neighborhood split between Central and Lower North Philadelphia. Bounded by Ridge Avenue to Francis Street and 19th Street to Girard Avenue, Francisville used to be home to “Springettsbury Manor," an estate sources say William Penn had planted grapes with the intent to make wine. Penn’s vineyard experiment was short lived because, by the time he returned to the area in 1699, the plants had died. Vineyard Street within Francisville pays tribute to Penn’s winery experiment. The earliest record of a settlement called “Francisville” is only in 1839, leading historians to believe that before the area was called Francisville, it was actually called “Vineyard," again referencing William Penn. Today Francisville is easily recognized from an aerial view because of its opposite street grid, in which the streets run East to West rather then North to South. This is because the neighborhood was built running perpendicular to Ridge Road, an ancient Native American trail. Today Ridge Road still exists as Ridge Avenue. In recent years the area has seen its fair share of crime and drug abuse, but groups like the Francisville CDC and the Concerned Citizens of Francisville continue to fight to preserve and celebrate the area’s rich history. 


History of Francisville [pdf]


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