By Grace Alone

By Grace Alone Frankford Fellowship at 4730 Oxford Avenue turned their attention this week to the lot at the corner of Foulkrod and Oxford Avenue.  The former site of the old Bell Telephone building has seen better days since the garden was planted there.  I happened to be coming down Oxford Avenue this afternoon and could not miss the folks stacking bags along the sidewalk.  Here are some pictures of what they have accomplished over a few days of work.

The young guys I met today are Pastors Gabe and Bruce.  They are both Frankford residents.  Many of the young people out there pulling weeds were not from Frankf0rd however and that is an interesting story.  I report on that some other time.

Have a look at the pictures we have so far.  I’ll update them as this project moves along.  If you have the time, they could surely use some help.

  • yomo

    I’m so happy to see that lovely garden being taken care of again.

  • Ihateracists

    When and why did this group get involved with this garden? Why did they destroy the hundreds of perrenials and roses the original gardeners planted there? Did they get permission from any one to do this? Did the group caring for the garden already ask them to take it over?

  • Pastor Gabe

    It has been a wonderful experience meeting new people and pulling up all those weeds in the Frankford Community Garden. Everyone we have met personally have appreciated what we’ve done with the garden and it has been a great experience also working with those who originally began the Community Garden. I understand the concerns of one of the commenters above but believe me we have not pulled up any perennials that weren’t dead already and the rose bushes have just been scaled back temporarily. They will certainly grow back. We just needed to trim them back so that people could see the beauty of the garden and be able to enter it safely – it also helped us fix the trellises. We also consulted the original designers of the garden and they have been very much involved in this whole process – we are simply partnering with them to make our community garden better.

    We hope to be able to maintain the garden with the whole community’s help in the weeks, months and years to come. So if anyone is interested please feel free to contact me at bgafrankford@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless!

  • lyndaD

    Is the lot owner still trying to sell that or did he give up? It would be so nice if there was money to pay the artist that did that mural to repair it. It looks just lovely on one side then there is that missing spot.

  • Jim

    I can’t stand that sidewalk. It’s broken up to hell. I can’t believe the owner doesn’t get sued from falls.

  • lyndaD

    The lot owners name was Daniel Snead he wanted to put a drug rehab in the old Bell Telephone building which used to stand on the lot. There was much community opposition to that plan. Several months after the public meetings about the plan the building exploded one fridged night. The City of Philadelphia placed a large lien on the parcel to pay for the clean up at the site. The lien was in the neighborhood of 130k. To date I don’t know if he has found a buyer due to that lien remaining. There was a for sale there for a while. I doubt that any sidewalk repair is forthcoming from that owner. Mr snead signed an agreement with the original gardeners who also got a 150.00 grant to buy seeds and plant the first garden which was all wildflowers and quite nice. Independance Fellowship award winning artist, Cavin Jones along with local art students, Chad Kennedy and Ms Hansen (whose first name escapes me) and the now defunct, FrankfordStlye Community Arts Organization created the current diptyc acrylic mural. PHS later donated some trees and other items. Neighbors took over the garden and tended it for many years. Shortly after the mural dedication a church group in the building the mural is painted on covered part of the mural with their church sign and later still part of the wall deteriorated and crumbled. There was also some tagging going on. Throughout all this the underlying beauty and message of the work still shines through. The name of the art work is the Frankford Hope Stewardship mural. I hope that spririt can be kept alive and that the work of the people involved with the project will continue on and be an inspiration for other projects. It does take stewardship to keep hope alive and a little inspiration taken from the past can remind us that there is still hope for Frankford and for Philadelphia no matter how hard it is to keep that hope alive it is worth the effort to try and fight to reclaim what has been destroyed and build anew. It is frustrating, there are setbacks but you have to start some place. That is why I really like these little garden projects and their stories. I think they are monuments to our good intentions.