ON THE WEST SIDE
THE UNIVERSITY CITY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
APRIL 2001


MIKE HARDY, EDITOR


Honors And Commendations

...Were served up along with tea and sweets at this year's annual UCHS "Valentine's Tea and Awards" program on Sunday, February 11. This year's program was held at the spectacularly restored marble "mansion" of Ellie and Rick Cernansky at 48th and Springfield Avenue. The "Hanson Haines House," a local German Medieval Revival landmark of 1903 by architect Charles Balderston is the latest contribution to the University City streetscape by this couple of devoted preservationists, one of the winners of the "Outstanding Preservation Awards" for the year 2000 presented by UCHS President Kathy Dowdell. The second preservation award went to Drexel University, Voit & Mactavish Architects and donor Paul Peck for the restoration of the former Centennial Bank Building, erected in 1876 and one of the most prominent surviving examples of the work of noted Philadelphia architect, Frank Furness. Renamed "The Paul Peck Alumni Center," this gracious landmark now once again makes the corner of Market and 32nd Streets one of the most visually exciting in the city and provides us with a building whose exterior and interiors is a new treasure of historic Philadelphia.

UC GreenThe "Preservation Initiative Award" for 2000 was presented to UC Green, its Director, Esaul Sanchez and his staff, for beginning to transform over 20 sites within the historic, green environments of University City and developing grassroots "cultures of commitment" for the preservation and restoration of those environments. UC Green's efforts for "turning University City into a garden village," including, most recently, the "reforesting" of five blocks of Walnut Street with over 108 trees planted in one day by over 1200 volunteers, have brought new attention and marshaled new resources for preserving and restoring one of the area's most distinctive and admired features - its urban forest and gardens, both public and private.

Joining the award winners were recognitions of the "Gifts to the Street" commendations for 2000 to the following property owners on the following streets for their efforts at façade maintenance and restoration, including multicolored exterior painting:

On Baltimore Avenue, Fran Byers; on Baring Street, Scott & Sylvania Overmyer, Kenneth Yanoviak & Margaret Wise, Sandra Thompson & Rebecca Baranowski, John & Marilynn Taylor and Donald & Joan White; on Beaumont Avenue, William & Vera Foronda, Victor Acuna & Doris Welland, Bettina Baker, Matthew Miller, Kathleen Ann Crump and Deborah & Peter Nelson; on Buckingham Place, Chris O'Donnell; on Cedar Avenue, Mary Pottash, Mary Jones & Darlene Sessions and John & Katherine Riley; on Chester Avenue, Mark Jenson and Robert Levy; on Hamilton Street, Ruben Gianzone & Elena Charola and Patricia & Jamal Hampton; on Hazel Avenue, Richard Dretsch, Carol & Clare Tracy, James & Valerie Boileau and Kenneth & Carollee Walker; on Larchwood Avenue, Andrew & Ricki Eisenstein, Mary Weichart & Christina Reel, Benjamin & Constance Hadley, Adina Knight, Linda Sulzbach and Carol Stein; on Osage Avenue, Christopher Card & James Gallman, Glenn & Sally Strickler, Peter & Dawn Dodson, Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Hamerman, Ann Dixon and Claude & Frances Dudley; on Pine Street, Angela McIver & William Jenkins Jr., Alejandro Senderowicz & Joan Weiner, Lynn & Andy Lees, John Hannan Jr. and Sherry Gauldin & William Giesey; on S. Farragut Street, Richard Salmon Jr., Jon Mourar, Andrew Nozzo & Florence Weller and Hermann & Barbara Pfefferkorn; on S. Melville Street, Henry & Beverly Thomas, Peter & Carol Petraitis, Heather Starr & Christine Santoro and Christopher O'Donnell; on Springfield Avenue, Pham Cuong & Hua Chau, Lawrence Motyka & Liz Campion and Brian Ratigan & Melani Lamond; on Spruce Street, University City Housing, Michael Levin, Maureen Barden & David Othmer, Judith Sherman and Rodney & Lanese Rogers; on Walnut Street, Walnut Hill Apartments, Campus Apartments and Colin McCann, Walter Wood Realtor.

On 40th Street, similar "Gifts to the Street" came from Alan Horwitz and William & Robert Schoepe; on 41st Street, the Holy Spirit Association; on 42nd Street, Clay & Clara Armstrong and Apartments@Penn, Dan DeRetis; on 43rd Street, Frank & Margaret De Santis, Joan & Keith Rolland and Mark Sherman; on 44th Street, Jennifer Andrews & John Holmes and Elizabeth Mc Namara & Kevin Allen; on 45th Street, Mark Sherman, Eva Christensen and Cyrus Dezfuli-Arjomandi & Leslie Gaines; on 46th Street, Rodman Stewart, John Woodin & Amy Orr, Lisa Coleman, Lyn Harper & David Mozley Jr. and Norman & Micheline Nilsen; on 47th Street, Jim & Jane Bryan, Yvonne Williams, Sharon Thompson-Schill & Michael Schill, Vladimer Klenotiz, Alfred Airone & Carolyn Jean Kelly, Michael & Peggy Wright and St. Francis De Sales School; on 48th Street, Frank & Janet Plantan, George Ankrah, Judith Russack, Etta Franklin, Jay & Minh Thi Kaufman, Mark & Roxanne Bataitis, Margaret Ann Sullivan & Joan Mc Devitt, Anne O'Shea, Philip Jeffries and John & Dorothy Neff; on 49th Street, Mark & Carolyne Krull and The Chatham Apartments, Blane Stoddart, The Parnership CDC.

In addition, "Green Gifts to the Streets" for landscape improvements were acknowledged from: Mark Krull, Friends of Barkan Park; University City District, Friends of Clark Park, Eric Goldstein, Cindy Roberts; Spruce Hill Block Grants Program, Amanda Benner; on Baltimore Avenue, New Horizons Housing Company, Baltimore Avenue in Bloom, UC Green; on Beaumont Avenue, Suzanne Roberts; on Cedar Avenue, Christine Day, UC Green; on Chester Avenue, Lauren & David Leatherbarrow, Angie Coghlan, UC Green; on Hazel Avenue, Carol Walker, UC Green, Warren Albert & Marie Lois Willis; on Locust Street, William & Dorothy Harris Jr., on Larchwood Avenue, James Menasion & Elizabeth Mathews, Josef & Jennifer Wegner, Michael Hendricks, Epps & Leola Leonard, James & Bonnie Nolen, Sara Kietzman, Esaul & Maria Sanchez, Theodore & Carol Daniels, Harline Dennison, Jacob & Frances Mc Bride, Joan Welsh; on Osage Avenue, Libby Rosof, Spruce Hill, Leonard & Catherine Orr Gontarek, David Vann, Veronika Simon; on Pine Street, Alpha Psi Fraternity, Doug Scipioni, Alan Klein, Greg & Mary Ryan Berzinsky, Owen & Elizabeth Edgerton, Alejandro Senderowicz & Joan Weiner, Michelle Murphy, Winifred Weiss & Deborah Seth, Marlene Levy, Frank Raffaele, Eleftheria Kourelis; on St. Bernard Street, Lisa Johanningsmeier, UC Green; on Sansom Street, Jane Silverman, Spruce Hill, UC Green; on Farragut Street, Ernest & Lorraine Randle; on Springfield Avenue, Ali Slade, Levy Johnson; on Spruce Street, Garden Court Community Gardens And Tennis Courts, Vivianne Nachmias, UC Green; on St. Marks Square, Eddie Brady, Dorothy Gillam, Spruce Hill; on Walnut Street, Colin McCann, Walter Wood Realtor; on 42nd Street, Alejandro Senderowicz & Joan Weiner, Jim Weisbrod; on 43rd Street, Ethel Dawson, Mr. & Mrs. Edmund J. Mancinelli Jr., Phebe & George Shinn, Mill Creek Greenway Neighbors, Jacqui Bowman, Healing Gardens At Health Center 3, Sy Stotland, Steve McCoubrey, Baltimore Avenue in Bloom, UC Green; on 45th Street, Diane Adler, UC Green, University City Housing, Kate Stover, Pat Gillespie; on 46th Street, Chesterfield & Jean Whipple; on 48th Street, West Philadelphia High School Construction Program, Willie Brown, Skip Gaus, Eric Grau, Carol and Avril Muller, Etta Franklin, The Calvary Center for Culture & Community, Rev. Paul Huebner, Baltimore Avenue in Bloom, UC Green, Mark & Roxanne Bataitis, James & Viet Huong Tran Kurtz, Rhonda Fabien & Jerry Babar, Nelson Wicas.

Excuse us for the length of this list, but special "thank yous" to all who made it. You deserve the kudos. After the event, but equally worthy, special thanks go to Andrew Wheeler and friends for completing the removal of the ivy which had overgrown a twin at 46th and Springfield Avenue, work organized by Kathy Dowdell and her neighbors. Thanks also to Michelle Murphy and Greg Montanaro for quick action in saving one of the metal finals on the roof line of 4200 Pine Street.

All of those above not currently UCHS members will be getting a complementary six month membership in recognition of their contributions.

PRIMER II

is in full swing with workshops offering information and advice about "Preservation, restoration, improvement, maintenance and educational resources" (thus the name). So far, workshops, co-sponsored by UCHS and the University City District (thanks to D-L Wormley of both), have been offered on "Painting" and "Roofing" with April and May promising more on:

INTERIOR CONVERSIONS (Make the most of your space. What about converting attics or basements? Balancing the cost vs. the value of a conversion)
Saturday, April 7, 10AM to noon;
STAINED GLASS (How do you maintain or repair stained (or leaded glass)? Determining what really needs to be done and who should do it)
Saturday, April 21, 10 AM to noon;
LANDSCAPING (Creating an urban gem of green space. Co-sponsored by U.C. Green. What is the soil type? What will grow?) Monday, April 23, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM;
INSURANCE (Is your coverage up-to-date now that you've renovated? How much insurance is enough?) Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

All of these most excellent occasions will be held at the University City District, 3940 Chestnut Street with pre-registration (using the form enclosed) accompanied by checks made to UCD of $5/person if a UCHS member or UCD contributor; $10 all others.

Anti-Blight, Local Version

BlightThe Historic Streetscapes Committee of UCHS has been responding to the current city-wide concern for combating urban blight by developing recommendations for dealing with "Properties in Peril" in the historic districts of University City, in particular, those properties, either vacant, abandoned or ill used, that destabilize and threaten the life of otherwise healthy blocks. Once identified, the committee recommends that demolition be halted for such properties and the $15,000-$20,000 demolition expense be applied as "seed money" for rehabilitation. The committee also recommends waiving the collection of back taxes, liens, etc. to provide a clear title to any potential redeveloper and insuring that rehabilitation improvements qualify for the current 10 year tax abatement for residential improvements.

In return, UCHS pledges to inform and enlist the support of immediate neighbors and property owners of this process and develop and publicize a database of information about such properties for those interested in considering their rehabilitation and redevelopment. It is anticipated that UCHS would serve as "matchmaker" in the process.

The committee is currently researching and working, on a case-by-case basis, with examples and nearby residents of such "imperiled" properties on Chester, Hazel and Osage Avenue, St. Bernard, 43rd, 46th, and 49th Streets. UCHS members are welcome to recommend other such properties and join the committee in its efforts to restore them to appropriate public uses.

Party for the Park

Party for the ParkBy now, you should have received your invitation for the Second Annual "Party for the Park" on Thursday, May 3, 200l from 5 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit the renewal of Clark Park, University City's largest public park.
The success of last year's benefit raised significant monies that were devoted to contracting supplemental landscape maintenance operations that have made a remarkable difference in the day to day appearance of the park, purchasing additional trash cans and making possible the special grant from the William Penn Foundation for a master planning process, set for completion in June 200l. And, after that, a real capital campaign is set to begin.

Co-sponsored by the University City District and the Friends of Clark Park, this year's effort will again have the benefit of The Drumcliff Foundation's commitment to match ticket revenues and contributions, dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000. So, your contribution is immediately doubled by their generosity!

Please join in this effort with your attendance or support. If, somehow your invitation didn't make it, contact the UCD at (215) 243-0555 or eric@universitycitydistrict.org. You can also purchase tickets or make donations on line at www.ucityphila.com.

Circular-Free=Trash-Free

No Circulars, PleaseThe Historic Streetscapes Committee of UCHS asks you to consider ordering a decal like that pictured to announce to handbill distributors that you would rather pass up their hand thrown delivery of advertising circulars, menus, coupons and other urban detritus (not newspapers) that contribute to the litter problems on porches and streetscapes in our historic neighborhoods. If you, the property owner or owner's authorized agent, would like an order form for such a decal and application to be listed as a "circular-free property" by the city, contact us at UCHS (215) 387-3019 or info@uchs.net and we will put the form in the mail. Yet another way to help "improve the view in University City Historic Districts."


 

And don't forget to visit the UCHS booth at this year's
MAYFAIR IN CLARK PARK
on Saturday, May 12, 2001 and pick up the new UCHS mugs designed by Sylvia Barkan celebrating "A Living History of Architecture."

And be sure to check out
"The Urban Arboretum of University City"

 


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