UCD 20th Anniversary

University City District launched in 1997, as dedicated residents, institutions and businesses came together to create an organization to help transform their community. Throughout 2017 we celebrated our 20th anniversary by holding community events and reflecting on the accomplishments of our organization, community, and the many people who made the work possible.
20 Years, 20 Stories is a rich compilation of the ways in which UCD has impacted the neighborhood through our work, told by the people who have made University City the vibrant, healthy and diverse community it is today. From UCD founders, to Clean and Safe staff, to residents and more, read about our 20 years of changing places and changing lives.

Help support University City District's next 20 years here.


Reflections from UCD’s Chairs

Founding Board Chair John Fry and Current Chair Craig Carnaroli share their reflections on UCD’s history and offer predictions for its promising future.

The Growth of Philadelphia's Second Skyline

We look back on 20 years of development along the eastern edge of University City and how a few risk-taking developers transformed the neighborhood.

The Little Co-op that Could

Read how Mariposa has served the West Philadelphia community for 45 years.

UCD's Mr. Fix-It

Ryan Spak runs Project Rehab, UCD's free, community-based initiative to aid property owners through the process of restoring their distressed real estate.

UCD Safety Ambassador Shaun Loadholt

The story of one of UCD's outstanding Saftey Ambassadors.

UCD Founders

Five of the founding members of UCD's Board of Directors share retrospectives on the past 20 years.

The Duo Behind the University City Review

University City's local paper that’s been delivering news to the neighborhood for nearly 30 years.

The Enterprise Center

Neighborhood non-profit providing access to capital, capacity building, business education and opportunities to minority entrepreneurs.


Founder Joan Myers Brown Talks About PHILADANCO’s History and Inspiration.

Dock Street Brewery

Dock Street founder Rosemarie Certo talks about her two loves: beer and West Philly.

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

The story of University City District’s workforce development program.

Local Innovator Judy Wicks

We spoke with the woman behind White Dog Café who helped lead Philadelphia’s farm-to-table movement.


Learn the history of the popular Ethiopian restaurant on Baltimore Avenue.

Clark Park

Get to know University City’s most beloved green space

The Mayor of The Porch

We profile the man who is in charge of The Porch at 30th.

UCD’s Leaders

Meet UCD’s original executive director and its current president.

University City Arts League

Celebrating 50 Years of The University City Arts League

Manakeesh Café

We visited this popular spot that serves as an anchor for the Muslim community.

A Clean Neighborhood

Meet Janet Walker and Debbie Ross, who have been with UCD since the start.