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07.08.2015
This map of Northeast Philadelphia from 1883 depicts its nascent development in the nineteenth century. Shopping centers became a common phenomenon in Northeast Philadelphia's neighborhoods starting in the 1950s as they embodied the emerging middle-class stature of Northeast residents by offering a wide variety of products in a single location. Zoning remained a controversial issue for Northeast inhabitants throughout the postwar period, with many vocally campaigning against public housing proposals in the vicinity of their neighborhoods.
Row houses have been a part of Philadelphia's architectural landscape since the seventeenth century, and they occupied considerable portions of lower Northeast Philadelphia. Although row houses dominated parts of Northeast Philadelphia, single-family home construction also appeared in certain pockets and prevailed as the dominant home-building trend in the Far Northeast during the 1960s and 1970s.
African Americans made up roughly one-third of Philadelphia's population by the 1970s, but racially discriminatory practices routinely affected their lives.
Moore died from cardiac arrest at age 63 in 1979, but his legacy as a civil rights leader has lived on in numerous acknowledgements around Philadelphia. From its initial, colonial foundations as a sparsely populated farming hinterland to its dramatic postwar housing development after World War II, Northeast Philadelphia developed into a desirable destination for those seeking to improve their economic, social, and cultural standing within Philadelphia’s city boundaries.
Northeast Philadelphia’s earliest enclave, Frankford, consisted of Lenni Lenape Indians and Swedish settlers prior to William Penn’s establishment of the Pennsylvania colony in the early 1680s. Additional industrial enterprises and communities emerged and flourished immediately north of Frankford along the Delaware River in the mid- to late nineteenth century, as some industrialists sought additional space to accommodate their expanding companies.
In the early twentieth century, Philadelphia’s elected officials embraced the City Beautiful Movement with the intention of improving the city’s infrastructure and attracting affluent suburbanites to downtown Philadelphia. The Great Depression’s onset, however, soon dampened the homebuilding spirits of Northeast boosters and exacerbated economic tensions between middle-class WASPs, who inhabited bungalows and mansions along the Boulevard, and ethnic whites and working-class blacks, who remained consigned to industrial enclaves closer to the Delaware River.
The growing demand for adequate housing during World War II, in fact, led to increased racial segregation in, and civic resistance to, public housing projects in Northeast Philadelphia. Generous government benefits, namely the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill) and FHA home lending policies, assisted returning veterans, the majority of whom were white, in their quest to move from Philadelphia’s densely packed industrial neighborhoods to the quasi-suburban atmosphere of Northeast Philadelphia following World War II. Gimbels was the anchor of the Bustleton-Cottman shopping center, which opened in 1961 and competed for Northeast customers with Philadelphia’s central business district. Commercial development, especially shopping centers, also molded the spatial alignment of Northeast Philadelphia’s neighborhoods in the postwar period. Just as mini-strip shopping centers began to dot the Northeast’s still developing landscape during the 1950s and early 1960s, some Northeast residents, apoplectic about commercial overexpansion in their neighborhoods, requested the construction of a major shopping facility to counteract the sometimes unwieldy dimensions of commercial growth in the Northeast.
Amid the rising tide of middle-class prosperity coursing through Northeast Philadelphia in the postwar period, there also developed a residential backlash among white homeowners toward proposed zoning changes to accommodate public housing in residential neighborhoods and fair housing proposals offered by civil rights advocates.
Racial animosities between whites and blacks in Northeast Philadelphia intensified further around busing and school-desegregation proposals  during the late 1960s and 1970s. As deindustrialization and white flight threatened Philadelphia’s already shaky fiscal foundations and deteriorating municipal services during the 1970s and early 1980s, some Northeast residents, including Republican State Senator Hank Salvatore (b. Over the subsequent two decades, Northeast Philadelphia underwent significant demographic and racial changes to become an increasingly diverse, urban community. I enjoyed reading your piece although I was wondering if there were any historical struggles besides the race issues. To address your question, there were additional tensions in Northeast Philadelphia between residents and city officials concerning the expansion of, and improvements to, Roosevelt Boulevard throughout the latter half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. People who have been around long enough recall a time when going into the Northeast or even northwest(!) parts of town was like a trip into the country. As a professional organizer all of the amazing spaces I get to work in, and even the great space I live in, recently got me thinking about how much square footage and living space we actually need to be comfortable in. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States was 2,700 square feet in 2009, up from 1,400 square feet in 1970, despite a decrease in the size of the average family.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Isa, the project manager, GC and design leader at TINY HOUSE NORTHEAST. Isa spoke about the main reasons people are opting for tiny houses. Financial freedom is one. Location and the setting of the home are discussed as well and buyers must adhere to local zoning laws and regulations. As we are slowly depleting our natural resources at a much faster rate than we can replenish them, continuing on and building larger homes is unsustainable and comes at a significant financial and environmental cost. So what does the future of tiny house living look like in terms of the benefits it provides our one precious home, Earth, and even our well being? It really is such a commitment to sustainable living and being comfortable with the outdoors, all in very tiny quarters. This is a big too small for my comfort, but given the choice between a tiny house or a 2700 sq foot house, I’d choose the tiny one any day! I think when you understand how to make the best use of space in tiny quarters you can organize anything! A majority of housing and industrial growth occurred along the Delaware River in Frankford, Tacony, and Holmesburg. Gimbels opened its first location in central Philadelphia in 1894, and by the 1960s had become one of Philadelphia's "Big Five" department stores, with multiple locations around the city.


This protest at Frost Lumber Company, at Welsh Road and Walker Street in the Holmesburg section of the Northeast, was in response to a plan to build a public housing project on the site in 1969. Row houses like these two-story brick models photographed in 1953 were a cost-efficient means of supporting the demand for home ownership, which increased rapidly following World War II. Separated homes with individual yards appealed to people who wanted to experience suburban-style housing setting, while still being close to the city center of Philadelphia. Moore (center, to the left of Martin Luther King Jr.) was a prominent figure in Philadelphia's civil rights movement at a time when the African American population of Philadelphia was steadily growing but racially discriminatory practices still prevailed. Moore's confrontational approach to fighting for the African American community was powerful but controversial. Even as Northeast Philadelphia came to symbolize a middle-class environment rooted around homeownership, commercial development, and mass affluence following World War II, it spurred acrimonious racial tensions between white and black residents and confronted city politicians and policy makers about local concerns related to zoning, commercial, and municipal services. Immediately following Pennsylvania’s establishment in 1681, Quaker settlers constructed a meetinghouse, built in 1684,  and post office at William Penn’s request in what was initially designated the Manor of Frank during the mid-1680s.
In the early 1850s, residents from the Northeast decried the city’s plan to annex their communities into a newly consolidated city-county governance authority, which aimed to confer municipal services and policing functions on outlying suburbs in exchange for jurisdictional control over their neighborhoods.
Henry Disston (1819-1878), an English industrial entrepreneur, moved his burgeoning saw works enterprise from the congested confines of Northern Liberties to Tacony in 1872.  Upon relocating his saw works, he gradually constructed a self-sufficient company town to house his workers.
In the mid-1930s, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, which created detailed, color-coded residential security maps to demarcate desirable from dilapidated housing throughout the city of Philadelphia, documented and widened, through its discriminatory redlining policies, the emerging residential and class disparities in the lower Northeast. The 1941 Lanham Defense Housing Act established the funding provisions that facilitated the construction of Pennypack Woods and Oxford Village I in 1942, with both housing complexes only accepting applications from white war workers and their families.
In 1961, for instance, civic boosters, city officials, and residents congregated at the Bustleton-Cottman shopping center—a newly erected major regional shopping facility that openly competed for Northeast customers with Philadelphia’s central business district—to mark its  opening, with Gimbels serving as its principal anchor department store. In July 1959, Harold Stassen (1907-2001), the Republican mayoral candidate, sought the support of Northeast voters by claiming that he would disassemble “City Hall’s bungling socialistic experiments” aimed at providing public housing for low-income families and racial minorities in Northeast neighborhoods.
Starting in the 1990s, white families and individuals relocated, principally because of their economic mobility and aging households, to the surrounding suburban counties and outside the Philadelphia metropolitan region in increasing numbers.  In 2011, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a citywide population study that documented the dramatic racial and ethnic transformations that had occurred throughout Philadelphia during the previous twenty years. A Place to Live and Work: The Henry Disston Saw Works and the Tacony Community of Philadelphia.
Yes the white people moved out into Bucks and other areas and the African Americans moved in so what is that area like today? I suppose it depends on the family size of course, and factoring in how much stuff we’ve manage to accumulate throughout our lives beyond the essentials.
They design, build and outfit environmentally sustainable tiny homes as well as offices throughout the Northeast.
They include a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, storage and some even sleep up to four people. Utilizing wall space and getting a bit creative to allow for a clutter free flow is certainly a common task in a tiny home. Isa has a masters degree in sustainable development, and filled me in on her day to day as well as provided me with so much insight into the world of tiny houses. While there are multiple factors in determining the cost of a tiny home it is considerably less money than purchasing a larger home.
Isa explained the many layers of the planning process that go into the purchase of a tiny home. When limited storage options exist what furniture to purchase and the placement of it is very important, the pairing down process truly becomes all about the essentials. The 3 types of tiny homes to choose from are turn-key wheel houses, weelshells and foundation ready.
Any questions from weather related concerns to the cost of a tiny house are answered over on the FAQs page of THNE site. THNE truly provides such an expansion of knowledge for those looking to purchase a tiny house, even for the DIYers, and offers classes to educate those who are interested in committing themselves to a simpler life.
I recently moved from a 3 bedroom 2 bath into a 2 bedroom 1 bath in the city and it took weeks to adjust…I give the tiny house dwellers so much credit.
Northeast Philadelphia remained a predominantly rural region, with large farmlands permeating its landscape, within the city's boundaries until World War II.
Gimbels opened the anchor department facility, pictured here soon after opening, in 1961 as part of the newly constructed Bustleton-Cottman shopping center, which was the largest commercial site in the Northeast at the time.
Born in West Virginia in 1915, Moore moved to Philadelphia after serving in World War II to study law at Temple University. He did not opt for private negotiations or compromises for what he felt was the right course of action. Moore Avenue in 1987, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) rededicated the Broad Street line subway station on Cecil B. Stretching from Frankford in the lower Northeast to Somerton in the Far Northeast, its vast geographic expanse underwent dramatic spatial, economic, and racial transformations throughout its complex and still unfolding history.
Situated to the northeast of the city of Philadelphia, Frankford’s importance as a center of commerce and trade grew principally because of its geographic location along the King’s Highway (present-day Frankford Avenue).
Some Bustleton residents, afraid of losing their independence, resisted the city’s annexation plan in 1852 by initiating legislation, which ultimately failed, to thwart the proposal.


Disston’s company town attracted both existing and newly arrived ethnic, European immigrant communities, namely Irish, Italian, Polish, and Germans, and offered them generous benefits and homeownership opportunities, melding them into a productive and loyal working-class community.
Speaking on the behalf of anxious, middle-class homeowners in the Northeast, the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce resented what it regarded as the federal government’s intrusive wartime housing schemes, openly assailing the government’s intention to provide affordable housing to war workers in the Northeast, albeit on racially segregated terms. Orleans (1888-1981), capitalized on these circumstances to expand home construction west of Roosevelt Boulevard in the Near Northeast, especially in Rhawnhurst, Lawndale, and Oxford Circle, in the late 1940s and 1950s. While popular defiance toward public housing in the Northeast persisted over the next two decades, Northeast Realtors and residents also resisted anti-discriminatory overtures in the private housing market, as calls for fair-housing legislation mounted among Philadelphia city officials and state legislators in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Although the Pennsylvania state legislature passed a fair-housing law in 1961 to end discriminatory practices in the private marketplace, Cecil B. In their effort to achieve racial equilibrium and enhance educational standards across Philadelphia’s public school system, Dilworth and the school board encountered massive resistance to the busing of black students into the Northeast’s overwhelmingly white schools, and “reverse” busing, which entailed busing white children into predominantly black city schools. Some blame the failure of Hank Salvatore’s Liberty County referendum for the final(?) movement of Conservative and Reform communities out of the Northeast. In most cases that leaves us with less space, even though we purchased more of it, and less time to enjoy it provided we have to work harder to maintain it. THNE is founded on the formula of sustainable development, with social responsibility and caring for the environment at the forefront. In some cases the houses are as small as 20-ft, pictured here which was featured at the recent RIBA Home Show, a bit of a downsize from 2700 sq feet of space. While this may not be the typical dream house for some, those seeking simplicity and a simpler way of life have found their version of it. I first spotted a tiny house while scrolling through Pinterest and immediately became fixated on how incredibly resourceful they were as well as magical looking. Her passion for conserving resources and vast knowledge of what goes into building a tiny home was impressive and admirable.
The extra cash and time you have, due to less maintenance of your home, can be spent traveling or simply enjoying activities you love.
Utilizing natural sustainable resources to build a home that takes up significantly less space is not only protecting our home but I believe is providing others the opportunity to be more present as they live their lives with intent.
After living in tight quarters almost half my life, I now need my home to be more spacious! After graduating in 1953, Moore became a defense attorney who specialized in helping working class African American clients.
While president of the Philadelphia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1963 to 1967, he encouraged African Americans to picket and protest for the right to join labor unions, de-segregate businesses, and receive better public education. While the Northeast remained predominantly rural following the Act of Incorporation’s passage, some of Philadelphia’s well-heeled elite erected palatial mansions and estates in Holmesburg and Torresdale, with the most notable Victorian structure being the opulent Glen Foerd mansion, which still overlooks the Delaware River, in Torresdale. The Far Northeast, on the other hand, remained largely undeveloped until the late 1950s and 1960s, at which point large contingents of affluent, white households, many of whom were Jewish, were drawn to Cape Cod and ranch dwellings designed with a suburban feel nestled in Bustleton and Somerton. Most were nestled beneath the woods and resembled something similar to a fairytale setting. When she isn’t spending time speaking with buyers of tiny homes, or volunteering her time to help she is working on resourcing the environmental friendly construction materials needed as well as finding builders, who are always experienced carpenters.
There is also the aspect of enjoying the great outdoors when living in a tiny home. Organic and sustainable gardening, farming and essentially using the Earth as your source of food and relaxation beginning at home is a lifestyle change that those looking to purchase a tiny home are yearning for. Instead of becoming consumed with stuff, it is allowing others to have the resources to travel, garden, enjoy the outdoors and live simply.
The number of working-class African Americans in Philadelphia grew steadily in the post-World War II period, but an economic downturn beginning in the 1950s made it difficult for working-class individuals to find jobs or afford any services beyond the necessities. He complemented these tactics with programs aimed at getting the growing African American community to vote and become more involved with local politics. Residential development of a mixed, aesthetic character, containing both row house and single-family dwellings, also unfolded east of Roosevelt Boulevard in the Far Northeast, especially in Torresdale, Holme Circle, and Academy Gardens, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, where an assemblage of white, ethnic Catholics with strong community affiliations to nearby parishes bought homes. Not to mention how this is hurting our environment in terms of wasting energy and resources.
I have always believed that the spaces we live and work in have a deep connection to the way that we feel. Moore's confrontational and direct approach in the courtroom continued when he entered the public sphere to combat social injustice.
Moore also restarted the fight to desegregate Girard College in 1964 and acted as the main attorney on the case until 1968, when the Supreme Court ruled that Girard College's attendance policy was unconstitutional. Tiny homes may appear small but the impact they have on those who are committed to embracing the lifestyle is massive. Some criticized Moore's tactics as too aggressive, but they achieved results and acknowledgement of national civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.
This photograph of Moore and King was taken during the struggle to desegregate Girard College in 1965. Some are opting for a more simplistic lifestyle and one that promotes and supports sustainability.



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