South Philadelphia Research


SouthPhiladelphia Research

DickinsonNarrows is tucked between Washington Avenue to the North and Milfinstreet to the south. It is also bound by 4thstreet to the East and 6thstreet to the West. It is located in South Philadelphia between theSchuylkill River to the West, the South Street to the North andDelaware River to the East. The area is known for its diversecommunity consisting of Italian and Irish-American population.


500Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 19148 is part of South Philadelphiareferred as Dickinson Narrows. The area runs from 4th Street and 5thStreetEastwards to 6thStreet. It neighbors the Farmers Market, Public Transportation,Parks, and Abundant parking. Dickinson Narrows covers an area of0.145 square miles. It has a population of approximately 5,846 and adensity of 40,291 people per square mile. The occupation per squaremile in the area is higher compared to the average of the entirePhiladelphia city which stands at 11, 497. The population of males isapproximately 3,117 while that of females approximates to 2,736.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Theaverage age of females is 31.6 years compared to 32.2 of the wholecity.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Onthe other hand, the average age of females is 36.2 years compared to35.2 of the whole city.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Themedian household size within the area is 2.7 compared to 2.6individuals for the entire city.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

InDickinson Narrows, 23% of adults are married compared to 26.3% inPhiladelphia.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Inaddition, a majority 22.9% of the citizens cannot speak fluentEnglish contrasted to 5.7% in the entire city.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Asindicated in the chart below, about 59.5 % of the individuals wereborn in the locale while 66.8 % were born in other US cities.

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

(DickinsonNarrows, PA 19148, nd).

Asindicated above, the most popular occupations for the males includeservice jobs (21.2%), Office Computer and Mathematical (12%), Legal(11.3%), Design (10.8%), Construction (8.7%), Social Sciences (6.7%),Management (6.0%), Education and Training (3.6%), Architecture(2.7%), Business financial(2.4%), Material Moving (1.7%), Transport(1.6%), Health Care (1.4%). There are no men in the armed forces andfarming occupations. Dickinson narrows has a crime index of 492.9that is higher than that of the whole country that stands at to 235.The median household income for the population is USD 36,334 almostequal to the city’s USD 36,836 (Philadelphia 2035, 2014).


Dickinson,Narrows population is expected to grow at the same rate as that ofthe southern part of Philadelphia City. As of 2010, the SouthDistrict had a total population of 132,904. The community represented8.7% of the city population. It increased by 0.98% in a ten-yearperiod (2000-2010). Although a slight growth, it was the firstincrease in population within the Southern District since 1980. Thegrowth is expected to continue until 2035 (Philadelphia 2035, 2014).The swelled number of inhabitants has spurred new developments inbusiness and real estate.

KeyTransitional Points in the Local Culture

DickinsonNarrows is well known for its massive racial intermix of Asians,Thai, Central American, Italians and Mexicans. The diversity emanatedfrom a long history of immigration associated with the locality. Thefirst inhabitants of the Dickinson Narrows were Swedish colonists inthe late 1638 who established the area as New Sweden (Zitceret al., 2016).In the 1650’s, the British invaded the region and took control ofthe land. In 1677, the Swedes had the first Christian worship in theLog Blockhouse along the Delaware River. Later on in 1700, they builtthe “GloriaDei”which is the oldest church in Pennsylvania. In 1684, the first ship“Isabella”arrived in Philadelphia to deliver the first shipment of slaves. Thecontinuous growth of trade led to the increase in population aroundthe area (Zitceret al., 2016).In 1787, Richard Allen founded the Bethel African Methodist church. Ayellow fever epidemic killed an estimated 5,000 individuals aroundthe area and forced most of the inhabitants to migrate. By the1790’s, Philadelphia was the most important seaport in America dueto the development of industries such as shipbuilding (Cgottlieb,2011).

Duringthe early18thcentury, there was an intense immigration from Europe. Mostimmigrants came from Ireland and Germany. Besides, there was aninflow of Black Americans from South America. By the mid-18thcentury, the Italian community was dominant in Philadelphia. In 1854,Passyunk, Kensington, Dickinson Narrows and Northern Liberties wererecognized as a part of the city of Philadelphia. In the 1880’sthere was a high immigration of Southern Italians into DickinsonNarrows, Passyunk, Bella vista, Washington Avenue and 11thStreet. In the period 1880-1920, there was a high influx of EasternEuropean immigrants. They were mostly Jews who replaced theAfrican-American population. During 1890-1915, there was a highinflow of Polish immigrants (Cgottlieb, 2011).

Inthe 20thand 21stcentury, most houses created during the 18thcentury were destroyed. The incident led to the displacement of manyfamilies from Fourth Street. In 1992, there was a immigration ofSouth Asians including Cambodians. Mexicans arrived in the city afterthe year 2000 (Cgottlieb, 2011).


DickinsonNarrows is one of the liveliest sections in Philadelphia. Newbusinesses are opened every month within the stretch of the avenuethat runs from Broad Street east to Dickinson Street. The serviceenterprises include dry cleaning, automotive services, communityeducation, banking, health and fitness, interior and garden design,massage, real estate, salon and spa among others. Entrepreneurs havealso put up bakeries, gastro pubs, brunch, dessert bars, coffeeshops, cafes, restaurants, take out and counter services.

Inaddition, shoppers can choose from apparel and accessories, art andgifts, bath and body items, bicycles and scooters, cell phones,children`s comic books, dancewear, jewelry, and grocery. Shoppers canalso access pets’ products pharmacies shoes, and women’s apparel.

Inthe heterogeneous community, the common places of worship include theSuccessful Bethany Family located at Juniper Street, The AbundantLife, and Chinese Mennonite Church, located on Broad Street, TheSaint Nicholas of Tolentine built on Ninth Street. Others include theSaint John’s Baptist Church located on Tasker Street, TheInternational Bethel Church, and Bethany Indonesian Church of God,The Jamaat GPDI South Philadelphia that is found along 11th Street.Worshippers also congregate in The First Christian Assembly on 11thStreet, The Indonesian Full Gospel Fellowship Church located on 13thStreet and The Prophetic Church of Christ established on Sixth Street(Angelina, n.d).

Boundariesand justification

Thecurrent boundaries in South Philadelphia are based on the decennialCensus data (1980- 2010) and the American survey (2002-2008). By theyear 2010, the census tract boundaries for the southern districtwere 20, 21, 22, 27.02, 28.01, 28.02, 29, 30.01, 30.2, 31, 32, 33,36, 37.01, 37.02, 38, 39.01, 39.02, 40.01, 40.02, 41.01, 41.02 42.01,42.02, 372 and 9807. In the year 2000 and 2010, the boundarieschanged to reflect the growth and decline of the population. Thetracts were split into areas that had an increase in population andwere consolidated in areas with population decrease. For example,tracts 44 and 45 were combined to form tract 372. Based on the above,the Dickinson Narrows related census tracts include 23, 28.01, 28.02,29 and 40.0 (Capone, 2013).

Thealignment of boundaries and zip codes in South Philadelphiacontributes to the uniqueness of the area. For example, zip code19146 extends from Lambard to Tasker Avenue and Schuylkill to BroadStreet. Similarly, that of Dickinson narrows runs from 4thstreet, 5thstreet and Sixth Street to the east and Washington Avenue to theNorth, Milfin Street to the south. Passyunk 19148 square runs fromBroad Street to Eight street and from Washington Avenue to TaskerStreet. The fundamental importance of the Tasker border is its rolein separating 19148 from 19147. It also distinguishes East PassyunkCrossing and Passyunk Square. The justification for the boundary liesin the preferences of real estate buyers who like living in DickinsonNarrows and East Passyunk Crossing, or the Passyunk Square providedit is at the Snyder Avenue and to the west of 9th or 8thstreet. The boundaries are mostly important for real estate buyersand they help in differentiating the area covered by 19147 and 19148zip codes. The 19147 area encompasses Bella Vista and Queen Villageto the North. On the other hand, the 19148 zip code includes thestadiums to the South. Both extend to the areas on the east of 8thstreet which are omitted from the East passyunk radar (Cgottlieb,2011)

SignificantHistorical Events

Someof the important historical events of the Dickinson narrows includethe housing of army troops during the colonial period at the largerEast Passyunk Avenue. George Washington put his troops along theFederal Street. After the war, there was a significant number ofJewish and Italian immigrants attracted by the affordable residentialneighborhood and nearby industrial jobs. It is also historicallyremembered for the Moyamensing prison. The facility was critical forthe incarceration of Al Capone and his bodyguard on May 16, 1929. Itwas also a critical institution for holding America’s first serialKiller Herman Webster Mudget in 1986 (Center City Philadelphia, n.d).

Thegeneral view of the community

Dickinsonnarrows has recently become more diverse than ever. It ischaracterized by new infrastructural and social development. Mostcompanies are closer to Broad Street located in the middle ofPhiladelphia and far away from the city. Majority of them areeateries and stores that open on Sundays. Some of the new restaurantsinclude Los Caballitos Cantina, Le Virtu, and Izumi. There are alsonew cafes such as Fuel, Cchaya, Adovbe café, and Black and Brew thatserve sustainably grown foods. The surrounding neighborhoods includethe Italian market area, Penn sport and Passyunk Square with a marketvalue of between USD 100,000 and 450,000 (Cgottlieb, 2011).

Howothers view the community

Theneighboring Passyunk Avenue is one of the ancient and busiestshopping streets in Philadelphia. The streets overcrowding began inthe nineteenth century after European settlements (Cgottlieb, 2011). The area is composed of iron foundries located in the northern partof Dickinson including the sacks playground as well as Mt SinaiHospital. The population of most immigrant is Jewish spilled beyondthe old borders such as Southwark. The area includes a livelycommercial market along 7thstreet where Jewish traders sell myriad goods. Some of the importantlandmarks include the MT Sinai Hospital on 5thstreet, the Louis Magazine, Colonial revival-1905 and the Nationalpalace Theatre at 1332 5thstreet (Wiig,2015).


(Dickinsonnarrows, PA 19148, nd).


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