Welcome to Mantua

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. Traditionally bordered by 40th Street to the west, Lancaster Avenue and Spring Garden St to the south and southwest, the Schuylkill River to the east, and Mantua Avenue to the north, Mantua is a quintessential rowhome neighborhood whose origins extend to the mid-nineteenth century. Though Mantua began as a suburban enclave, by the close of the nineteenth century Irish and Jewish residents had established the area as a solidly residential rowhome neighborhood, one of just many to emerge amidst Philadelphia’s dual rise as the “Workshop of the World” and a “City of Homes.” Follow this blog throughout the spring as we highlight narratives significant to Mantua’s development and storied past, share interviews with current and longtime residents, and suggest ways in which these narratives can find expression in the memorial of 3711 Melon Street, a modest home in a proud black neighborhood.

Jimmy Beecham talking with youths

Jimmy Beecham, of Mantua Community Planners, speaking with Mantua youth, October 11, 1968; Temple University Special Collection Research Center

"A Tribute to Dr. Herman Wrice," 34th & Spring Garden St; Mural Arts Program

“A Tribute to Dr. Herman Wrice,” 34th & Spring Garden St; Mural Arts Program