Five years ago Joe Krause was looking for a good house in a good neighborhood. Philadelphia has a lot of those but he and his wife wanted some place that would give them both of those things without breaking the bank.
He had been through Northwood before and put it on his list of places to check out. It took some time but eventually they settled into a home on Ramona Avenue.
In no time at all he met Debbie Klak, his next door neighbor. He mentioned that he had been active in the civic association and town watch in the neighborhood where he grew up and she told him to check out the Northwood Civic Association meeting.
He attended the meeting in the first month after moving into Northwood and met Barry Howell and within a few months he was on the board of directors. Now, five years later he is the president.
Being President of Northwood Civic is a huge investment in time but he says it is an investment in the future of the neighborhood. With help from family and friends to watch his daughter Josetta when necessary, he makes time.
Josetta has been to more Northwood Civic meetings than most of the members and one of my fondest memories of Krause is of him trying to wrangle her as he spoke at a meeting when she was barely walking. He seems always patient which is a trait that comes in handy now that he heads the Civic Association.
Krause is focused on not only the civic but also on his work with Frank Bennett at the newly resurrected Northwood Frankford Y at Orthodox and Leiper Streets. They are working to revive the neighborhood icon.
In addition he is very much interested in improving Northwood Park which is on Foulkrod Street between Castor and Northwood Street. The park is underutilized and yet could really be developed into a significant neighborhood asset.
With proper development that park could have something for all ages: nice tennis courts, a walking trail, benches for the seniors, tables for chess. However it all starts with neighborhood involvement.
The neighbors have to come out and show and interest and get involved similar to what is going on up at Overington Park and over in East Frankford with Wilmot Park .
Naturally the Civic will continue to defend the Northwood Deed Restriction. He finds that some of the new neighbors may not realize the value that the deed restriction provides them and the civic is trying to spread the word that it is a valuable asset to the community in maintain home values.
He sees Northwood going in a positive direction. New business development over in the direction of the Cancer Treatment Center on Wyoming Avenue will create increased demand for nearby housing and Northwood is well positioned to take advantage of the demand. Historically, Northwood is a neighborhood where people take care of their properties. That was one of the reasons he moved into the neighborhood. It is a neighborhood that, even today, holds its value.
For Joe Krause, it was the right choice.