Philadelphia Between The Conventions


Philadelphia, 2006, the first year of population growth after its post-industrial decline. | Photo: Dennis Yang, Flickr

Philadelphia, 2006, the first year of population growth after its post-industrial decline. | Photo: Dennis Yang, Flickr

  • Plan Philly’s Jim Saksa reviews some of the myriad of ways by which  Philadelphia has changed in the sixteen years since a political party came to town to nominate its candidate for president. (Alternatively, a more quantitive analysis is offered by Mark Dent on Billy Penn.) In 2000, when Ohio Representative John Boehner was looking for an agreeably sized warehouse in which to throw a proletarian-kitsch party for some friends, he chose Northern Liberties’ North Front Street. The millennial Democrats likely to walk its 900 block this year between crafts beers will take little notice of the luxury rowhomes assessed at $400K. “The 2000 RNC in many ways set the stage for Philadelphia’s renewal, which began in Center City during Ed Rendell’s time in City Hall and has slowly emanated out to surrounding neighborhoods in the two decades since.” Philly doesn’t blush so easily now; no haphazard beautification campaigns were deemed necessary, “no one has decried the fact that construction continues on I-676 and I-95 or Love Park and the Museum of the American Revolution, or that construction hasn’t even begun on the Rail Park;” in short, Philadelphians are allowing their city to do what cities do—grow.
  • The Mural Arts Program is getting some help this week thanks to the Democratic National Convention. CBS Philly reports that delegates are assisting in the creation of two murals eventually to be installed in Center City and Southwest Philly. “Those of us who are here,” says Alaska state Democratic chair Casey Steinau, “actually get to give to the community which was kind enough to host us, which I know is a big deal to host a meeting like this. It’s hard on the city, and I think anything we can give back is really important, and this is really great — something that we’re gonna see for a really long time.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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