Archive for the ‘Precious Places’ category

Life Cycles

January 18, 2008

The final installment of Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project airs this Sunday on TV12 at 11:30pm.  The programs this week examine “death by development” and the memory of those buried in a long popular cemetery.

Petty’s Island: A Sacred Part of America’s Story by Camden City African American Commission.  Visible (to the North) from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Petty’s Island began as a Lenape encampment, and was later used by the early European colonists as a depot for enslaved Africans. Today the ecology of the island is being threatened by development plans to create a gated community.  Danny Glover narrates this piece.

Palmer Cemetery: The Heart and History of Fishtown by the Fishtown Neighbors Association.  Most neighborhood residents know or are related to someone buried at Palmer Cemetery.  More than a quarter of a millennium ago, shipbuilder Anthony Palmer created the place where Fishtowners go and never leave.

Neighborhood Beginnings

January 4, 2008

This week’s episode of Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project focuses on the unique histories of three area communities.  The program airs at 11:30pm Sunday on TV12.

In The Industrial Past by the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center, residents at the crossroads of Kensington and Lehigh neighborhoods reflect on history of the area and its industrial past as the “Workshop of America.”

Youth and the Houston Center: Growing Up Together by The United Communities Southeast Philadelphia with the Youth Leadership Council of the Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative.  Over the past 100 years, the Houston Center has served many populations. This piece explores the neighborhood’s past and documents the oral histories of the many communities who have called it home: African-American, Eastern European, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Mexican and others.

Athletic Recreation Center: The Jewel of Brewerytown by the Brewerytown Sharswood Community Civic Association.  Baseball and Brewerytown go together.  (They always have.)  Residents recount past glory days, present vitality, and challenges of the Athletic Recreation Center; a jewel in the community since 1910.

Growing Communities

December 26, 2007

Each Sunday at 11:30pm on TV12, WHYY airs three short documentaries from Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project.  This week:  how seeds grow. 

Las Parcelas by Norris Square Neighborhood Project. Once a vacant lot on Palethorp Street, this is now a lush urban garden.  A dedicated group of North Philadelphia women plant seeds literally and figuratively.  What grows?  Community, cultural awareness and, of course, vegetables.

Strawberry Mansion, Neighborhood by the Park by the East Park Revitalization AllianceNorth Philadelphia residents talk about Strawberry Mansion, the neighborhood situated along the eastern side of Fairmount Park.  With acres and acres of open parkland, a reservoir, 19th century mansions, and a riding stable, this community is a mix of city and country.

Francisville Community HistoryThe men who once made up the Morrocos, a 1960s street gang, tell their story of how political climate, in particular the struggle to integrate Girard College, transformed gang members into activists and leaders.  This piece was commissioned as a prototype for Precious Places by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

Peaceful Places

December 20, 2007

Three short documentaries, part of Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project air each Sunday at 11:30pm on TV12.  This week, the series addresses the importance of communities at peace. 

Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Perspectiva: Zona Caribe Youth Share Their Precious Place by Hispanic Association of Contractors and Entrepreneurs. Young residents created this documentary about the preservation and revival of their neighborhood after the anguish caused by the murder of a child in an abandoned factory.  This event becomes a catalyst for community transformation.

The Story of a Neighborhood: The Square @ 58th Street, by Shoatz United for Education. The Square, a community garden at 58thand Locust, is a tribute to Gladys Shoatz and her belief in education as a fundamental civic value. Residents talk about their commitment to one another and their vision for their community.

On Mt. Peace by the Lawnside Historical Society. Established in 1890 by African Americans to provide a burial place, Camden County’s Mt. Peace is the final resting place of many Civil War veterans.  This historically black cemetery, a site on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, presents ongoing challenges to the Lawnside Historical Society and its community.

Observing Change

December 14, 2007

Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project continues this Sunday at 11:30pm on TV12.   The episodes this week examine communities facilitating change. 

From the Del to the El: a Neighborhood Evolving by New Kensington Community Development CorporationThis story of the Fishtown-Kensington evolution is told through the story of four churches: St. Michael’s Roman Catholic, East Baptist Church, Gallery Church and the Circle of Hope.

A Community in Transition by Friends Neighborhood Guild. The Friends Housing Cooperative, an ongoing experiment in cooperative living, was designed as an interracial residential community.  It continues as a vital force in North Central Philadelphia.

Bridging Yesterday with Tomorrow by Tacony Civic Association. Once an independent village, Tacony began as factory town.  Henry Disston, owner of a 19th-century saw factory, planned a complete community for his workers.  The impact of Disston’s vision continues to this day.

Unique Histories

November 20, 2007

Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project airs every Sunday on TV12 at 11:30pm.  The documentaries this week look at the unique histories of three area communities, and how their past defines their present.

Parkside: A Camden Neighborhood by Jewish Camden Partnership and The Parkside Business and Community.  Two groups inhabited this community over the past century.  In the first half of the 20th century a thriving Jewish community inhabited Parkside.  Since the 1960s, this community has been predominantly African American.

Putting the “Nice” Back in “the Town” by Nicetown CDC. Built in the early 18thCentury, the Stenton Mansion on North 18thStreet was once the home of James Logan, an early Pennsylvania governor, and Dinah, an enslaved African woman. Neighborhood residents recount the story of Dinah saving the house from fire as metaphor for today’s challenge to rejuvenate Nicetown.

The Things that Put Powelton on the Map by Powelton Village Civic Association. A series of conversations with longtime Powelton residents explores the history of this unique West Philadelphia neighborhood, which has long been an incubator for social activism and a center of progressive city politics.


November 16, 2007

The week’s TV12 installment of Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project airs on Sundays at 11:30pm. We look at complex transformations as two neighborhoods taking back their green spaces, and another community that seems to be in a constant state of adaptation.

Fair Hill: To Badlands and Back Again by Fair Hill Cemetery. The burial ground at Fair Hill is a 300-year-old Quaker cemetery on Germantown Avenue in North Philadelphia that had been taken over by vandals and drug pushers. Concerned residents partnered with Quaker activists to transform the historic cemetery back to a safe green space.

Girard Avenue – A New Destination by West Girard Community Council. This shopping district and major thoroughfare also served as a border between neighborhoods. We’ll learn about the complex transformation of the Brewerytown and West Girard neighborhoods through the voices of area residents and business owners.

Southwark: 30 Years and Growing by the Neighborhood Gardens Association and Southwark Queen’s Village Community Garden. Told through the South Philadelphia gardeners who continue to make it bloom, Queen Village Community Garden transforms a vacant lot into a green space and serves as a bridge for uniting a diverse community.