Strawberry Mansion

 By Kevin Cook and Marilyn S. D'Angelo

Strawberry Mansion: Battling Vacancy

Strawberry Mansion: Battling Vacancy

In Strawberry Mansion housing runs the gambit from centuries old, protected historic mansions to the vacant, burnt-out shells of abandoned residences. The neighborhood also offers a nearly three-mile stretch of scenic and leisurely driving on Kelly Drive following the Schuylkill River’s eastern bank through Fairmount Park with views of some of the oldest homes in […]

 By Danielle Bacher and Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: All Stars Play Ball Through It All

Strawberry Mansion: All Stars Play Ball Through It All

By 5 p.m. the sun was still scorching the kids wearing their uniforms in the playoff game between the two co-ed teams: the Little B.I.s and the Big Legends. The first pitch bounced slightly in front of the plate and glided into the catcher’s mitt. On the second pitch, Kahaliff Lisby swung and missed the […]

 By Danielle Bacher and Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: The View from the Street

Strawberry Mansion: The View from the Street

Derrick Ford is the self-proclaimed “mayor” of North Philadelphia and he is known as “Rick” in Strawberry Mansion. Not only does he work for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health, a funding source for substance abuse treatment, but he is also a licensed therapist and a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department’s “Heads Up” program, where he speaks out on the danger and reality of drugs.

 By Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: Preserving a Legend

Strawberry Mansion: Preserving a Legend

Jazz legend John Coltrane lived in Philadelphia from 1952 to 1958.  His Strawberry Mansion home still stands on 1511 N. 33rd St. with a historical plaque in front.  It was named a historical building in 1999 by the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The commission’s office in City Hall still holds many old photographs and legal documents […]

 By Danielle Bacher and Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: John Coltrane’s House of Blues

Strawberry Mansion: John Coltrane’s House of Blues

Row homes line this North Philadelphia street–some of them abandoned and wet from the grip of constant rain. There is a single rumble of thunder. A low-lying fog covers the front of a three-story brick house on 1511 N. 33rd St. near Oxford in North Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion section. Plywood and planks help hold this home […]

 By Danielle Bacher and Jonathan Braymer

Strawberry Mansion: Veterans Giving Back

Strawberry Mansion: Veterans Giving Back

On a typical front porch in North Philadelphia, a red, blue and white awning gives shade to two signs on the corner of 33rd and Diamond streets. One sign advertises water ice in a bright, fruit-flecked rainbow of cherry, lemon and blueberry Italian ice. The other sign says simply: “Capt. Robert Tresville VFW Post 6700. Join the […]

 By Ibtisam Abdul-Barr

Strawberry Mansion: Digging for Solutions

Strawberry Mansion: Digging for Solutions

Every big city has its neighborhoods to avoid after the sun sets, but in Philadelphia, our problems can be seen everywhere and they cannot be avoided. The difference between a city such as Washington, D.C., and North Philadelphia is that in Washington, the slums are only seen from a distance. But in Philadelphia our badlands […]

 By Shannon McDonald

Cops: Black and Blue

Cops: Black and Blue

Bill Thrasher is an officer in North Philadelphia’s 22nd Police District. His blonde hair is youthful, unaltered by sun or life. His eyes are identical to the sky blue of the uniform shirt he wears beneath his jacket and bulletproof vest. The faint traces of acne on his jaw reveal his age before he offers […]

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