By Alex Onkow

Logan: Still Sinking After 25 Years

Logan: Still Sinking After 25 Years
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Some people would love to have their property sit on multiple acres of empty land. Vast fields, rolling meadows, trees—it sounds ideal, but Dr Donald Turner has been fighting to have his medical office relocated from such a setting for over 25 years. His reason for wanting to move is justified: the vacant land is the largest blighted area in the city.

Courtland Street Medical one of the few building standing in the Logan Triangle.

The Logan Triangle is 35 acres of overgrown weeds and litter. During the area’s construction in the early 1900s, the Wingohocking Creek had to be filled in. The city chose to fill the valley with ash instead of proper landfill, which eventually led to the sinking foundations of hundreds of houses. By the 1980s the problem was so severe that the entire area was condemned and the residents were relocated.

Turner’s office stands alone on its block. From the exterior, the white windowless rectangle could be mistaken for an abandoned building. A closer look at the Courtland Street Medical sign reveals that the practice is in fact “Still Open.”

Though not abandoned, Turner was in a sense left behind. In the late 1980s, when the removal of the houses commenced, Turner’s building was spared. “My building should have been one of the first to go,” he says. Houses sat directly next to and across the street from his office. “This whole street was houses!” he exclaims, pointing to a cement path that now sinks into an empty field.

As residents were moved out, the houses were left vacant and became hot spots for criminal mischief. When they were eventually torn down, things got even worse. Turner’s office fell victim to numerous crimes. “People have drilled through the ceiling and climbed in through the back window,” he explains, “they want pills, once one of them had a gun.”

A picture taken after the homes were vacated.

“MAYOR GOODE THOUGHT MY WHITE FRIENDS WOULD HELP ME,” reads a sign on top of Courtland Street Medical, the font larger than that used on billboard advertisements. “Mayor Goode moved all the African-American residents and left me,” says Turner, “an injustice is an injustice, no matter what color you are.” Goode did not provide the same deal to Turner that he did to the residents. Turner says he was given a cold shoulder because he never made contributions to Goode’s administration.

When Goode left office nothing changed. The Rendell and Street administrations were wrapped up in a personal rivalry with Councilwoman Marion Tasco, who represents Logan. “They didn’t get along so nothing happened,” says Turner. He rustles through a manila folder full of court documents, police reports and correspondence to city officials, finally pulling out an old news article. It reads: “Mayor, Tasco, still at odds over Logan assistance.” The article goes on to confirm the doctor’s story.

Former streets sink into the ground and weeds and litter boarder the curbs.

“One time a cancer patient fell in a sinkhole,” says Turner, “I thought they’d shut me down for sure.” After the fall, the patient never walked again. She died soon after. Turner wasn’t shut down. And he won’t be. Government interest in the Logan Triangle has dwindled. Turner says judges just sigh when he presents his case. Nonetheless, the doctor is still passionate, but he admits the road has been draining: “It’s difficult, after a while it becomes depressing.”

8 Responses to Logan: Still Sinking After 25 Years

  1. Donald turner(the Dr) August 21, 2011 at 1:34 am

    The governmental laws are great but the PEOPLE WHO RUN
    The laws have to much power andlose sight of fairness equality
    And the resposibity to the neighborhood. We serve the leaders
    Instead of the leaders serving the people, but the leaders fighting
    Each other is a nightmare democrats fighting democrats leaves no
    Body to blame through out all elected officials and while u are
    Doing that kick the “JUDGES out also

  2. Charmaine June 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Maybe what what they did in Chicago to correct the land that new homes was build on is to dig out all of that ash.Dig as far as the depths of the ash to get rid of it! What they did in Chicago – The site was once a clay pit for a brick manufacturer and, after digging out all of the good soil it became a landfill and was filled in with garbage. For the last 30 years it was considered unbuildable and used as a parking lot. Because it would be cost prohibitive to remove all of the organic fill, the new homes are supported on 40-foot wood piles that penetrate the fill and are embedded in the clay layer below.The job was done by FitzGerald Associates Architects of Chicago.Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter need to talk to these guys.Logan need to come alive again with new homes business and a better surroundings and a better positive enviorment.

  3. Joe Danihel February 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I also am waiting for closure Eminent Domain REQUIRES JUST COMPENSATION a house 4 blocks north of my 1038 west Wyoming ave house went for $129,000.00 in 2012 The city appraisal is $169,000.00 for the house across the street from where my house stood.HOW CAN APPRAISALS even JOKE about $800.00 .I can be reached@joethemechanic4@gmail.com watch my youtube video titled” THE GOVERNMENT IS STEALING MY HOUSE” thanks

  4. John Sawyer September 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Philly should make it a racetrack for all the dirtbikes

  5. Ann Ruffin December 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I LIVE I. THE 5400 OF NORTH11 TH ST. T he retainer wall collasped in the back of my house and the house next door to me. L & I wants us to fix it.This is all landfill .The article that I’m reading says ash.Thats true because I saw burnt coles when my basement floor wzs being cemented , because of humps. Thankyou please respond

  6. jose danihel November 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    It is november 2015 ,the cinders that fill the 7th & blvd end of the triangle as army corp study shows are same material that cinderblocks are made of as long as sewers aren’t allowing sink holes to form ,clearly govt CAUSED DISASTER. NOW GOVT.WILLNOT ALLOW 7th amendment JURY TRIAL to pay REQUIRED COMPENSATION view youtube ANOTHER THING#19..as of 2015 RDA will pay goldenberg group to build a MALL

  7. jose danihel December 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Everyone tries to cite the politicians claim of organic fill coal cinder is organic,but also is what cinderblocks are made of…gravel and sand are what MOST buildings on the east coast are built upon.broken infrastructure ,which is the governments responsibility ,is what caused this .it is cited by engineers as a cause.the government knew in 1984.Then SOLD homes to me and others in 1991 thru 1993, in my opinion THAT IS FRAUD.the government has NOT paid and willNOT allow a 7th amendment JURY TRIAL..view youtube ANOTHER THING#19

  8. Joseph danihel January 6, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I find it unconstitutional that since 1994 I HAVENOT been allowed to live in my home yet am STILL waiting for JUST COMPENSATION.In October 2015 an article quotes agents of the government that may have an agreement to build a mall.It says up to 100 million May be given to the developer.Yet I have NOT been paid.THIS IS SO FAR FROM BEING RIGHT OR CONSTITUTIONAL.PROSECUTION OF AGENTS OR AGENCIES WOULD HAVE STOPPED THIS COLD.view youtube ANOTHER THING#19.contact joethemechanic5@gmail .com

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