20 Years 20 Stories

Mar 27, 2018 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: A Look Back—And Forward—from UCD's Chairs

Over the course of the past year we’ve shared stories about the local restaurants, organizations, people and places that have helped shape University City into a thriving community since University City District’s foundation in 1997. We’ve also focused on the men and women at UCD who have fully embraced the organization’s mission, creating programs to improve the physical fabric of the community and offering opportunities to neighbors to ensure they too could benefit from the district’s rapid transformation. 

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Jan 30, 2018 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: Building Philadelphia's Second Skyline

Most of the stories in our 20 Years, 20 Stories campaign have focused on University City and West Philadelphia legends, lore, and favorites—from storied restaurants, to the origins of University City District initiatives, to profiles of local arts groups. Today, we turn our attention to the new University City, the University City currently rising along the western banks of the Schuylkill River.

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Jan 17, 2018 6 years ago

Mariposa: The Little Co-op that Could

A recent frigid morning didn’t stop shoppers from making their way into Mariposa Co-op. The cooperative grocery store fills the building at 4824 Baltimore Avenue to bursting with farm-fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, bulk grains, nuts and pasta, high-quality meats and cheeses, and much more. The customers browsing the aisles are as diverse as the offerings: a young white woman with green hair wearing a faux fur coat; a middle-aged black man still wearing his winter cap and thick coat; a dark-skinned 20 something with a pierced septum. 

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Dec 19, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: UCD's Mr. Fix-It

You always know when Ryan Spak is in the office for the day. Although he only works at UCD part-time, he makes his hours count. He’s always hustling in through the back door, barking into his cell phone, zipping from meeting to meeting, and wasting no time getting down to business so he can solve one problem and move onto the next. He’s UCD’s Mr. Fix-It, our professor of permits, the deed detective. You need a drywall guy? An electrician? Need to know how to navigate L&I? Call Ryan Spak. But chances are he’s on the other line. 

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Nov 29, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: UCD Safety Ambassador Shaun Loadholt

All throughout University City, a group of dedicated men and women work 365 days a year to keep our neighborhood safe. There’s Mike, standing at 40th and Market each morning as commuters exit the subway station, or Brianna who takes over for the evening commute. Each day when the final bell rings at the Penn Alexander School, Ryan is there to greet the students. Tuhran hands out materials at college safety fairs to educate students about bike safety and situational awareness.

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Nov 14, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: A Retrospective with UCD Founders

University City District launched in 1997, as dedicated residents, institutions and businesses came together to help improve their community. As we look back over the past twenty years, we could think of no one more well-suited to reflecting on the neighborhood's transformation than those who were most involved in creating UCD. In this short video, hear from five of the founding members of University City District's Board of Directors on why the organization started, why they became involved, and how they've seen the neighborhood grow and change since UCD's formation.

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An image of a printed version of the University City Review
Nov 01, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: The Duo Behind the University City Review

Editor's note: Bob Christian passed away on Saturday, December 17th, 2022 after a prolonged illness.  At Bob’s request, a New Orleans Jazz Band performed at his funeral and led a procession from The Woodlands to a luncheon at Renata's Kitchen.

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Oct 03, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: The Enterprise Center

As Philadelphians come together to celebrate Minority Enterprise Development (MED) week –  a time when minority businesses are fêted and encouraged through city-wide events –  we couldn’t imagine a better organization to highlight than The Enterprise Center. This West Philadelphia non-profit has been providing access to capital, capacity building, business education and economic development opportunities to high-potential, minority entrepreneurs since 1989. To learn more about the history of The Enterprise Center (TEC) and its role in the community we spoke with the organization’s president, Della Clark, who has led TEC since 1992.

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Sep 19, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: Joan Myers Brown and PHILADANCO!

The building that houses PHILADANCO, the West Philadelphia dance institution, isn’t terribly hard to find. Need a street sign to guide you? Search for a small block just north of Market Street with the name PHILADANCO Way. Still lost? Look for the brown brick building stamped with PHILADANCO in big white letters.

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Sep 05, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: Dock Street Brewery

Selecting just one story to tell about Rosemarie Certo, the charismatic woman behind Dock Street Brewery, wasn’t easy. We could have told the story of an immigrant whose widowed mother left behind everything she knew in Sicily to settle in America. Rosemarie's story could have been about a woman earning widespread acclaim with a hugely successful brand in an industry traditionally dominated by men.

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