The Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance (YFPA) designed this exhibit as a celebration of and a showcase for the neighborhood of Sharswood, introducing Philadelphians to the neighborhood while exposing Sharswood residents and advocates to a wider audience. The exhibit includes work by students in PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Program, at Temple University’s School of Architecture, and at Philadelphia University’s College of Architecture and the Built Environment.
Sharswood is a community with a deep and important history that is representative of nineteenth and twentieth century development patterns in Philadelphia, including associations with baseball and jazz history, as well as important moments in the Civil Rights Movement. The neighborhood maintains strong connections among its neighbors, despite the recent relocation of residents from the former Blumberg Towers, the recently-demolished housing towers that had been located at the center of the neighborhood. Citizen-led initiatives have coalesced in the past few years to strengthen the neighborhood internally in the face of blight, demolition, gentrification, and most recently widespread eminent domain sponsored by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) as an element of their larger plan to remake the neighborhood. According to YFPA's Molly Lester, the group intends this exhibit to serve as a catalyst for the sharing of observations and lessons learned from neighborhood studies and resident experiences.
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