Preserving “Doctor’s Row” – A Historic Black Neighborhood In South Philly – A Councilman Proposes Bill To Halt Demolitions

PHL17 News

Walking along a stretch of what is called “Doctor’s Row” or “Black Doctor’s Row” is a living history lesson. The area where some homes are coming down and condominiums are going up is a stretch along Christian Street – and Broad to 20th Street. Our Jennifer Lewis-Hall who reports on this story spent some time in the historic neighborhood recently which is an area where many prominent Black Philadelphians lived dating back to the early nineteen-hundreds including renowned architect Julian Abele and Reverend Charles Tindley.

Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has introduced a bill to temporarily halt demolitions in the area for one year. Jennifer also spoke with Paul Steinke, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia which is seeking to have “Doctor’s Row” officially designated as a historic district. 

Meantime many people reflect on the tremendous contributions of the Black Philadelphians who lived there many of whom were doctors, lawyers, ministers, legislators and educators. Abele was the first African American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in architecture and experts say he designed hundreds of buildings including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia and buildings at Duke University.

Rev. Charles Tindley who in reports say was often referred to as “The Prince of Preachers” was a minister who founded one of the largest Methodist congregations serving African Americans on the East Coast.

You can follow Jennifer Lewis-Hall who is the host of our longstanding public affairs program, “In Focus” – you can find her on social media on Twitter @JENNIFERPHL17 on Instagram @jenlewishallphl17 as well as on Facebook at Jennifer Lewis-Hall.

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