Share Your Story

Have a story to tell? We want to hear it. Our “Share Your Story” page allows visitors to upload text, images, and audio that illustrate their experiences in Mantua and Philadelphia’s wider network of urban housing. Visitors may choose to share stories and rituals of commemoration, reflect on the legacies of demolition and urban redevelopment, or simply  provide personal reflections on the spaces we call “home.” We want to hear from you, whether you currently or once lived in Mantua or Philadelphia, and have something to share that is meaningful to your experience and speaks to your connection to a modest house.

Also be sure to visit this page frequently to access oral histories conducted in Mantua and the surrounding area, blog posts on the neighborhood’s history, and updates on events, programming, and development news throughout the Spring. Funeral for a Home invites your participation and is excited to share these stories with all who visit…

“Lot 212”: Speculation and Flip, Prewar Style, Part 1 of 2

April 4, 2014

In previous posts we discussed the numerous families who lived at 3711 Melon St over the course of the twentieth century. Most of those families were renters. Who actually owned 3711 Melon over the years is a long, and somewhat complicated, story, reflective of speculative development trends dating back to the late nineteenth century, and the seemingly rampant, unregulated, flipping of residential property in prewar Philadelphia….

Starr-Baltz Deed Abstract 1866

So Who Lived There Anyway?: Part 3 of 3

March 7, 2014

Leona Richardson, a single mother, purchased the home at 3711 Melon St on August 30, 1946. A seamstress for the Wanamaker’s Department Store, she lived there with her only son Roger for nearly five decades….

Give-A-Show Projector, 1961

So Who Lived There Anyway?: Part 2 of 3

February 27, 2014

The decades falling between World War I and World War II are a significant moment of demographic change in the United States. Between 1916 and 1930 over one million African-Americans migrated from their Southern homes for northern and mid-western cities. Philadelphia was just one of many northern locales that saw an influx of African-American residents, looking for work and a place to live…

In Motion, Schomburg Center

“A negro family just arrived in Chicago from the rural South,” 1922, The Negro in Chicago; A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot, by the Chicago Commission on Race Relations; Courtesy The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


So Who Lived There, Anyway?: Part 1 of 3

February 17, 2014

One of the first questions we are asked when introducing Funeral for a Home is who lived in the house. Given the project’s stated interest in commemorating the families and stories this home once contained, it is an important question and one as a team we have taken multiple efforts to help answer…

3711 Melon Street 1910 Census Resize for Blog

Welcome to Mantua

January 17, 2014

Over the course of the winter and spring Funeral for a Home will be exploring the history of Mantua, site of our culminating event in May 2014…

Jimmy Beecham talking with youths