The Cobbs Creek area in West Philadelphia is located between Market Street, South 50th Street, Baltimore Avenue and Cobbs Creek Parkway. The neighborhood is approximately 1.5 square miles and home to about 42,673 residents. Cobbs Creek is a longtime working class neighborhood that is predominantly inhabited by African Americans. Cobbs Creek prides itself on being community-oriented, as well as an area that provides support to its children.
1. Located at the western end of the neighborhood is Cobbs Creek Environmental Center (pictured above). The center’s mission is to strengthen environmental education in the community and promote a “green” lifestyle.
2. Mercy Philadelphia Hospital is the only hospital located in Cobbs Creek. The hospital is one of the neighborhood’s most unusual buildings, with its original architecture still intact. In the 1930s, the Sisters of Mercy agreed to rent Mercy Hospital from the archdiocese for just $1 per year. In 1950, the archdiocese transferred ownership of the hospital to the Sisters of Mercy.
3. The Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia was built in 1925 and renamed in 1990 to honor local activist Blanche Nixon. The library is very small but has much community involvement and support. Inside, you’ll notice people from the community using the computers, checking out books and groups of small children having “story time.”
4. Malcolm X Park is located at the corner of 52nd Street and Pine Avenue. This park hosts many outdoor events and provides a community-oriented play station for children. It’s across the street from one of the neighborhood’s elementary schools, and serves as a prime site for recreational activities.
5. The Christy Recreation Center is located at 56th and Christian streets. The center is known for its tennis programs, but it offers other recreational activities as well. The center is located across the street from Mastery Charter School Harrity Elementary, and serves as a park for the students.
Text and images by Chelsea Koerbler and Joie’ Johnson-Walker.