Learn about the past, present and future of Strawberry Mansion and nearby East Park.
Sunday, October 22, 2023
10:00am - 12:30pm
Boxers’ Trail Gateway
3336 W. Dauphin Drive
Join the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Judith Robinson on October 22 from 10:00 AM–12:30 PM for a 2.5-mile walking tour to learn about the past, present, and future of Strawberry Mansion and nearby East Park.
Strawberry Mansion has always had a close connection to the park. In fact, the neighborhood is named after a prominent place in the park, Historic Strawberry Mansion. Similar to Parkside on the other side of the Schuylkill, Strawberry Mansion is where the city grid meets the greenspace, buffered by a boulevard of grand homes and apartment buildings facing the park. It’s a neighborhood that has lived many lives through the years, from its beginnings as an 18th-century rural retreat, to its 19th-century industrial boom with a proliferation of factories and rowhouses, to the 20th-century that experienced a demographic shift from a primarily Jewish enclave to an established African-American community. Judith will highlight the neighborhood’s history as a hub of cultural activity – the home to artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner and Dox Thrash, musicians such as John Coltrane and Meek Mill, and community groups such as Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, the horse riders who inspired the hit movie Concrete Cowboy.
The tour begins with the colonial homes that first defined the area and then visits a variety of important park sites such as the Dell Music Center, the Medicine Man statue, the old concession stand, and the recently installed horseshoe pits. Next, Judith will lead us down 33rd Street, East Park’s parkside promenade to see B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue/Cornerstone Baptist Church, Mander Recreation Center, and the John Coltrane house. The tour will end at a relatively new addition to the park and neighborhood, The Discovery Center at the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir.
Estimated distance: about 2.5 miles
Level: easy to moderate
Terrain: mainly flat sidewalks/trails
INSTRUCTOR BIO: Judith Robinson is a longtime resident, historic preservationist, and real estate broker with years of experience as a community advocate and educator. She is a researcher and docent at the Historic Church of the Advocate and is the director of the Strawberry Mansion Civic Association. In 2021, Judith helped form the Friends of The Henry O. Tanner House, an all-volunteer group of local African-American preservation advocates who are spearheading efforts to save the North Philadelphia rowhouse of this significant American painter.
TICKET PRICES: Pay what you can – $10, $15, or $20
[ Not sure what to pay? Please refer to this Sliding Scale Pricing FAQ for additional info. ]
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
- Appropriate for adults and families with children ages 12 & up. Minors must be registered and accompanied by an adult.
- Please wear comfortable shoes.
- Please dress according to weather conditions.
- Please bring your own water and snacks (drinking water is not available in the park).
- Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome; however, you will not be able to enter buildings.
- There are bathrooms (porta-potties) available at the beginning and end of the tour route.
PARKING/GETTING THERE: There is plenty of free parking available in the park. As always, never leave valuables in your car! If traveling by public transit, the closest station is at 33rd and Dauphin. The nearest Indego bike station is also at 33rd and Dauphin.
QUESTIONS? Please reach out to email@example.com
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This event will take place in light rain. In the event of heavy rain or other severe conditions, the event will be canceled and attendees are eligible for a full refund.