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Frankford 2012 The Year in Review

2012 was a very active year in Frankford.

A computer lab opened in the Frankford CDC office with the help of PhillyRising & Temple University. It has since become the go to place for residents who need to do a resume, job search, Financial Aid applications for college or learn new technology.

The sun set on the Frankford Special Services District which had been coordinating the cleaners on the Avenue. It was replaced in September when a grant from the City Commerce Department made it possible for the CDC to take over the cleaning task directly under the direction of Mr. Ray Gant.

It was sad to see the former Central United Methodist Church building demolished.

Church front undamaged

Church front undamaged

Two new school buildings were under construction in 2012. The addition to Frankford Friends School was completed and occupied by the end of the year. The addition to the Northwood Academy Charter school will be completed in time for the opening of school in 2013. At the same time, after 107 years, the Aria Health School of Nursing left Frankford for new facilities.

H.R. Edmund’s school was converted to a charter and opened in September as the Philadelphia Charter School for Arts and Sciences.

33 newly installed Federal military gravestones for the Union veterans buried in the “Circle of Honor” surrounding the monument at the Civil War Memorial in Cedar Hill Cemetery were re-dedicated. This year the 30 foot tall monument will be restored in time for a Memorial Day ceremony.

3 Frankford institutions were named to the Northeast Hall of Fame: Unity Monthly Meeting Frankford, founded 1682, ; Presbyterian Church of Frankford, founded 1770; and Campbell AME Church, Frankford, founded 1807, the nation’s second oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church.

After two years of planning, a rain garden came to Womrath Park. The park was reopened the week before hurricane Sandy blew through and did not get the coverage that it deserves. Womrath park now has a new look and feel and at the same time the garden acts as a device for diverting storm water away from the underground pipes during heavy rain fall.

Northwood and Frankford Civic Associations both had changes of leadership and personnel. Attendance was high in both groups throughout the year with issues to be addressed. EPIC Stakeholders continued its record of excellent programs each month. Attendance at the monthly PSA meeting has soared as residents came out to push for the resolution of safety concerns.

Flying Kite Media came to Frankford in the Fall and covered our local scene from a different point of view. They sponsored several public events that brought people to Frankford who had never been here before.

The Mural Arts Program became a reality in the triangle surrounding Womrath Park. It is the ideal location as the southern gateway to Frankford to display what the residents spoke about in the interviews conducted over the previous 6 months. They are visible from street level and from the El. The project will be completed in the Spring when the last mural goes up near St. Marks Church.

After several years of vacancy, the Frankford Y is being brought back to life by a new board and is re-branded the Northwood Frankford Community Y.

The Frankford El, with no fanfare at all From SEPTA, marked its 90th anniversary.

Philadelphia 2035 completed a plan for the lower Northeast which will shape the Frankford of the future. It is an ambitious blueprint for development.

The Frankford CDC found a sponsor for the Gazette print edition with KidzPartners and now we have a print run of 1000 copies each month which is distributed mainly along Frankford Avenue. In addition, we implemented TextBlast with the help of our friend Tim Wisniewski.

There are only a few of the highlights. Now on to 2013.



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Frankford Chronicles – Agent Lydia Darragh – Intelligence Operative

It is a privilege to present today, a new work of historic research by Joe Menkevich.  Lydia Darragh is a fascinating subject in Frankford history although she did not live here.  I won’t go into her history since Joe has done the research and you should read it from his narrative.  Whenever we have posted any reference to Lydia Darragh in the past, it has received a large number if hits from the search engines. This new work from Joe, adds to the Darragh story by providing links to other historical documents that support the story.

So picture the period in December of 1777 when Philadelphia was occupied by the British army and the Continental army was camped out at Whitemarsh. Joe’s account brings it all to life. Read it here.


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Tuesday Night at the Historical Society

Preserving & Promoting the History of NE Philadelphia since 1905
The Center for Northeast Philadelphia History
Tuesday, 11 December 2012  7:30pm
Holiday Tea
Celebrate and learn more about the 2012 Northeast Hall of Fame inductees, including some of this areas historic churches, dating from 1682 (United Monthly Meeting Frankford) through 1807 (Campbell AME).
This is our members’ traditional Holiday Tea, so please feel free to bring desserts or tea sandwiches to share.
Refreshments served.  Members free; Others $5.00
1507 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA  19124
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Tuesday Night at the Historical Society of Frankford

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 – 7:30pm
Allen M Hornblum
Author:  “Confessions of a Second Story Man: Junior Kripplebauer and the K & A Gang”

Join the author of “Acres of Skin” as he shares the challenges of researching history and a story of national significance about human exploitation in the name of medical science at NE Philadelphia’s former, historic Holmesburg Prison. A subject of the experiments will offer an insider’s look at the prison.

Refreshments served. Members free; Others $5.00
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 – 7:30pm
Holiday Tea
Learn about the 2012 NE Hall of Fame inductees, including Frank Shuman (Solar Power) and Leon Sullivan (OIC), and meet/greet former and current ones, including representatives from some of the area’s historic churches. This is our members’ traditional Holiday Tea, so bring desserts or tea sandwiches to share.
1507 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124