The Funeral



Every year nearly 600 homes are demolished in the City of Philadelphia.

As in most large post-industrial cities, the trends of depopulation dating to the mid-twentieth century have hit Philadelphia especially hard, and Mantua was hardly immune. Though Mantua was never much of an industrial sector, maps extending back to the 1870s and even as recent as the 1960s reveal a solidly residential row home neighborhood. Regret lingers in the thousands of blighted structures and vacant lots that populate this city. But with passing also comes reflection, and it is that quiet moment of pause and celebration of life that Funeral for a Home seeks to make possible.

Accordingly, Funeral for a Home is demolition in the service of preservation. This funeral service engages long-term residents and numerous neighborhood organizations that have worked throughout the year to offer reflections of the selected house as well as the proud history and coming future of Mantua. Music, celebration, food, and ritual, all will be part of this culminating moment, one which commemorates through public memory and civic dialogue shared lifetimes as much as it reflects on the challenges of maintaining an aging housing stock in a neighborhood slowly on the rise.

Funeral for a Home is a Mantua-based effort designed by local artists Billy Dufala, Steven Dufala, and Jacob Hellman working collaboratively with the Mantua Civic Association, Mount Vernon Manor, Inc.; Mantua Community Improvement Committee, The H.U.B. Coalition, and Peoples’ Emergency Center CDC. Patrick Grossi is Funeral for a Home‘s project manager.

WHEN   May 31, 2014
WHERE   3711 Melon Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
TIME   11:00 AM