Brewerytown: The Athletic Recreation Center Helps Local Kids

Lonnie Cohen answered phone calls for the rec center.
Lonnie Cohen has worked at the Athletic Recreation Center for more than 15 years.

At 1401 N. 26th St. in Brewerytown, the Athletic Recreation Center still stands tall.

After being built in the 1920s, the recreation center was one of the original centers in Philadelphia. Filled with kids running around and arts and crafts on the wall, it is now managed and supervised by Lonnie Cohen, also given the title “Recreation Leader Three.” Cohen also has three to five staff employees, including Assistant Supervisor Fred Jenkins, who has been running the center’s boxing program for over 40 years.

The Athletic Recreation Center holds many programs for children in the neighborhood. It has an after-school program Monday through Friday which ends at eight o’clock at night. The children come from General John F. Reynold School and William D. Kelley School. Homework help, access to computer labs and educational trips are offered at the center. Children may also participate in dance, drama or different types of sports, like boxing, as the center is known for having produced several professional boxers.

“I don’t hate going to work everyday and it keeps me athletic,” Cohen said of his favorite aspects of his job.

Residents of Brewerytown said the recreation center is good for the community and keeps the children occupied, as well as staying active in “Philly’s Fittest After-School Program.”

The Athletic Recreation Center also offers a Summer Camp for ages 5-12.  Registration for the summer program begins April 14.

The center is also looking for volunteers for their water station at the Broad Street Run at Broad and Master streets. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Mr. Cohen at 215-685-2709 for more information.


  1. I studied abroad at temple and used to train boxing there everyday. I miss Lonnie, Fred, other boxing trainers, and kids there.

    I am Japanese but they treated me like their family..

  2. I remember going there when I was just a lil something some 40 pluses years, for after school and camp the Thompson Twins was my teacher, I later went on too box there under Fred Jensen Alfred Mitchell, I no longer live in the Community but still come through to visit
    Yes them was some great times..

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