Redevelopment

Tonetta Graham on her Strawberry Mansion porch, in philadelphia, PA.
Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY

This story originally appeared on PlanPhilly.

If Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion section gentrifies, Tonetta Graham knows her block is bound to change. She owns a house on 30th Street, right around the corner from her childhood home. It cuts a striking figure. Painted candy apple red with white trim, Graham’s house stands alone, the sole remaining building on this side of the block. Vacant lots surround it, some strewn with tires and old mattresses.

James Earl Davis, a Professor of Urban Education at Temple University and his golden doodle, Baldwin, pictured in his home in East Germantown.
Brad Larrison for WHYY

Temple University education professor James Earl Davis and his partner moved into their stately 150-year-old Victorian home in East Germantown in 2001, at a time when the neighborhood was, well, iffy.

“The car was broken into around 2002 because there was money and CDs on the front seat. They broke the window and got those, but that was kind of an urban novice error,” Davis recalled with a knowing laugh.

A view of Society Hill taken from inside the Society Hill Towers.
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

 

Developers for the Patton Crossing project first proposed a master plan last year. The mixed-use plan drew much opposition from the neighborhood.
Min Xian / WPSU

Susan Buda works at the Park Forest preschool and lives in the adjoining Park Forest neighborhood in the State College area.

On most days, she bikes to work.

“It’s actually harder to drive here because it really is just such a short distance," Buda said. "I like riding my bike and walking. It’s very stress relieving and calming. And it’s a great neighborhood to do that in, too.”

But Buda said she is wary a development plan would change the neighborhood.

apartment building
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Aviva Franz, a sophomore at Penn State, is leaving her apartment in the Metropolitan on a breezy fall day. She moved into the new, upscale building in downtown State College at the end of August.

“It definitely offers more, but there are tradeoffs," Franz said. "Like, it’s definitely more expensive than some of the other places. We do have a gym in the building, even though it’s small, and we do have a study lounge.”

Meagan Tuttle on Allen street.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Most State College residents think of their downtown as a long, narrow area bracketed by College and Beaver Avenues. The State College Borough Council hopes to change that. Borough planner Meagan Tuttle talked with WPSU’s Emily Reddy about redevelopment plans aimed at extending that “downtown” feeling into the 200 block of South Allen Street. They talked in front of the State College Municipal building, on the street that the borough is hoping to revitalize.