Lancaster Avenue has been the home of many exceptional people and the stage for notable historical moments. This flourishing community is filled with hidden gems and great minds looking to contribute to their community.
The Blue Grotto
If you’re into the color blue and you want to go see some art out in West Philadelphia, you need to check out the Blue Grotto, located in the basement of The Community Education Center on Lancaster Avenue near 35th and Street. The space is filled with a collection of blue items collected by Randy Dalton, the Grotto’s creator, who started this endeavor nearly 15 years ago.
The Tiberino Museum
There’s a small museum nested where Lancaster Avenue and Hamilton street meet. It’s called the Tiberino Museum and it’s dedicated to the work of the late artist, Ellen Powell Tiberino. The complex is made up of five buildings and a sculpture garden. The museum is also home to her surviving family and hosts countless of parties and events throughout the year including Carnivolution, a festival held every second Friday in the summer. During Carnivolution, the backyard is filled with circus performers and live music.
Maureen Bellwoar and The Collegiate Recovery House
Lancaster Avenue is home to The Haven at Drexel and its president, Drexel University freshman Maureen Bellwoar. Not only is it a recovery house, The Haven is the first recovery house of its model on the east coast – dedicated to college students, following the first at the University of Southern California. Bellwoar is the assistant editor of GraterFriends at the Pennsylvania Prison Society, a dedicated Mighty Writers volunteer and a sexual assault counselor-in-training. Though only 19, she was once herself an addict and is now two years sober.
“The purpose is to create a collegiate recovery community so that young people who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol feel safe and supported while they’re going to school, “Bellwoar explained.
The Martin Luther King Mural
On the corner of 40th Street and Lancaster Avenue, there is a mural of Martin Luther King Jr. Many may not be aware that this mural was actually created to memorialize a rally that took place on Lancaster Avenue during the Civil Rights movement. The rally was held by Martin Luther King himself on August 3rd, 1965.
The Lincoln Highway
Lancaster Avenue originated as the Lincoln Highway back in 1913. The street was part of the first transcontinental, paved highway, which started in New York City and ended in San Francisco. Last year, residents and community leaders commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the Lincoln Highway by bringing in vintage cars for a street fair.
– Text and images by Katelynn Luczkow and Milena Corredor.