“Real Evidence of Progress”: Toward a Preservation History of Christian Street, 1910-1945
Tue Nov 09 2021 at 06:00 pm to 07:30 pm
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA
Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided one hour prior to this virtual lecture.
presented by Kevin Block PhD and Adrian Trevisan MSHP
Between 1910 and 1945, the west side of Christian Street--from Broad to 20th--was “the social centre of colored wealth and pride” in Philadelphia. As Black southerners settled in Philadelphia during the First Great Migration, Christian Street emerged as a popular neighborhood for African-American political and professional leaders. These residents embraced the physical row house infrastructure of the area and established important social and cultural institutions, such as the Christian Street YMCA, Tindley Temple, and the highly popular Quaker City Elks Lodge --for which the area later came to be known as “Black Doctors’ Row.” According to the Philadelphia Tribune, this neighborhood in 1919 was “real evidence of progress” for many Black Philadelphians and a dynamic intersection of early-twentieth-century race and class formation.
In this lecture, Block and Trevisan will describe the architectural and social history of Christian Street, as well as the process of assembling the nomination of the Christian Street Historic District, which the Preservation Alliance has recently submitted to the Philadelphia Historical Commission. This is the first historic district in Philadelphia to be based primarily on the significance of an area's social history and may therefore serve as a model for expanding the reach of historic preservation efforts in the future.
Kevin Block, PhD, is an architectural and cultural historian based in Philadelphia. In addition to his academic work, he has prepared several nominations for the Preservation Alliance and is now serving on the Steering Committee for the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance. He received his doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught most recently at Princeton University.
Adrian Trevisan, MSHP, is an architectural historian based in Princeton, NJ. He has prepared nominations to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places for the Preservation Alliance and other nonprofits, and taught a class for the Princeton Adult School on The Development of Princeton, NJ from 1890 to 1910. He has received master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.
$15 | General Admission
$10 | Alliance Member
Free | Students*
Part of Preservation Alliance's 2021 Fall Speaker Series
Series Passes are available!
$70 for Preservation Alliance members
$110 for non-members, includes a one-year individual membership.