Carole Abercauph

Carole Abercauph (b. 1944) and her parents moved to Society Hill (739 Spruce Street) in 1949 and, in 1953, to 329 Pine Street. It was a very large building that had had a USO center on the fourth floor during World War II. Her parents renovated 329 Pine extensively, making it into two large apartments. In 1960, they moved to 719 Pine Street, because Carole’s mother was convinced that the Redevelopment Authority would force them out of 329 Pine and tear it down to make way for St. Peter’s Walk. Carole’s father was a master jeweler, as was her older brother, with a store on Sansom Street. Carole’s mother ran the front of the store. Carole attended local public schools and graduated from Girls High. She also graduated from Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts.

Carole fondly recalls the neighborhood’s great bakeries, a pastry shop, a dairy store, a chicken store, and South Street with “one clothing store after another.” She says that Society Hill is a lovely neighborhood now and was when she was growing up, but it was safer then, because people looked out for one another. She recalls that the Section 8 housing at Sixth and Pine Streets included the first houses in the neighborhood with bars on the windows.

Audio Clip


DS:      This is an interview with Carole Abercauph. The date is November 5, 2008. The place of the interview is 1041 Buttonwood Street, Philadelphia, PA. The interviewer is Dorothy Stevens. Carole, will you give me your full name and spell your last name for me?

CA:     Sure, my name is Carole with an e on the end, and my last name is A-b-e-r-c-a-u-p as in Peter – h.

DS:      And you presently live right now at home where?

CA:     719 Pine Street.

DS:      And what is your birthdate? When were you born?

CA:     2/1/44.

DS:      But you told me you didn’t start out in this neighborhood.

CA:     No, I didn’t. I guess I started out in very far south Philadelphia, and we (1:00) moved to West Philadelphia, to 59th and Baltimore, and then my father had a massive heart attack. My father was a jeweler. He was a real jeweler. He made jewelry on Sansom Street. At that time, unfortunately, it’s not like today. Doctors made people who had heart attacks invalids. And he was told by his doctor that he had to move to a neighborhood so that he could walk home in the middle of the afternoon and have a rest. And that’s how we moved into what became Society Hill. That was in – we moved to 739 Spruce Street in 1948. (2:00)

DS:      OK, 739. Now, somebody told me that you lived at 218 Delancey at one point.

CA:     No. My brother bought that property, but he never renovated it and finally sold it.

DS:      But there was a house on it.

CA:     Well, there was a shell.

DS:      All right. So that’s how that number got started.

CA:     In 1953, my parents bought 329 Pine Street, and we moved there.

DS:      And how old were you then? (3:00)

CA:     Let’s see. I would have been nine years old. That was, of course, a very interesting block. That was the only property that actually goes from Pine Street to Delancey Street. So every other property in that block just goes half of the distance. And at that time –

DS:      Tell me again what number that was.

CA:     Three twenty-nine Pine Street.

DS:      And it went all the way through.

CA:     Yes. At that time what is now Three Bears Park was a fire station and a police station. And our next-door neighbor (laughs) – well, our next-door neighbor (4:00) in the front – and I can’t remember his name – he was an interesting old coot, really. His next-door neighbor and our next-door neighbor in the back was Joe Ottaviano. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about Joe. (laughs) My mother and Joe were, shall we say, beloved enemies. Well, you see, the way the property was, 329, that was a very old property. I believe that it was heavily renovated probably in the 1880s, at which time (5:00) they put everything they could buy in the catalog as adornment all over the ceiling and walls. But originally, there was a property there in 1792, and at some point – I’ve actually looked at the old records – and there was a bath house on the side of the building that was behind – Joe owned a garage on Delancey Street with an apartment over it, and between that property and the property which (6:00)—

DS:      To the east?

CA:     Well, no, to the south of it. We were to the east. The property that was to the south of that, which was 331 Pine Street, which is where this old man lived. Or, I thought he was an old man when I was a child (laughs) – he was probably not so old. But anyway, there was this piece of land that used to be the bath house that my parents owned. And Joe wanted that piece of property. There was a right-of-way – you know, all these properties had right-of-ways beside them – and there was a right-of-way next to the garage, in between Joe’s mother’s house. But he put up a wall around this piece (7:00) of land that used to be the bath house. And once you block up a right-of-way, it’s no longer a right-of-way.

DS:      Legally?

CA:     Legally. But anyway, Joe wanted this piece of property that my parents owned. You know, my father never dealt with any of this, and my mother was rather feisty. He wanted that property, and she said, “Well, I’ll tell you. You can have that piece of property, but I want something in writing.” And he got very, very angry at that. I don’t know why. (8:00). So it never actually occurred, and after that time they were enemies.

DS:      Enemies.

CA:     They were enemies. And as a matter of fact, he was a very colorful character. He had a gun, and back in the old days, there were a lot of kids in the area. So he used to chase the teenagers off of Delancey Street by shooting his gun.

DS:      Into the air.

CA:     Oh, yes, (laughs). You’ve probably interviewed his children, you know, Joe, Jr., and Bob. They’re still there. . . . (9:00)

DS:      … Interesting. And what was your maiden name?

CA:     Abercauph.

DS:      So you’re not married?

CA:     I’ve never been married.

DS:      That’s fascinating. There seemed to be guns in the neighborhood at that time.

CA:     Well, his was the only one that I knew about, because it was quite prominent. He was fast friends with all the cops, you know.

DS:      Three Bears Park was the police station or the fire station, right? (10:00)

CA:     Well, it was both. There was a fire station and a police station there.

DS:      And did it go into a park right from that state, or was there something else in between?

CA:     No, no. Those buildings were demolished, and the park was made. I think the park was made quite a long time after the buildings were demolished. (laughs) And the guy in the front was also feuding with ---

DS:      The guy in the front, you mean, on Pine?

CA:     On Pine Street. Who was always feuding with Joe.

DS:      The old man.

CA:     He had no indoor plumbing in that house; so he had an outhouse in the yard, which didn’t have a door on it, which he turned. You see, Joe’s apartment was right (11:00) next to – Joe’s apartment was in 333 Pine Street. And his apartment was on the second floor. So this man turned his outhouse so that every time he went to the bathroom, you know – (laughs). Now eventually, that building – you know, in the early years, the Redevelopment Authority had broad powers.

DS:      We’re talking – give me a year. We’re talking the ‘60s? Fifties?

CA:     Well, this would have been probably in the late ‘50s. Because that building was condemned – (12:00)

DS:      The bath house.

CA:     (laughs) The bath house. No, not the bath house; that was on our empty lot that Joe wanted, but 331 Pine St.

DS:      Just trying to keep it all straight.

CA:     And I believe that building was condemned at the instigation of Joe, but anyway, it was – he actually renovated that property, with the renovation that’s there now.

DS:      He renovated the property where his mother was? I’m getting confused.

CA:     No, no. The 331 Pine St. – Joe was a builder. He was a builder. So he actually got a hold of that property after it was condemned, and the man who was there was forced out, and Joe renovated that property into the form that it is today. (13:00)

DS:      Give me a little background on your parents. Born and raised in the United States, or were they immigrants?


CA:     Well, my mother was actually born in the old country. Which at that time, the old country was not the old country that it is today. She was born in what is now Poland but was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My brother was 17 years older than me. There were just the two of us. My parents were a bit older. My father was born in 1903. He was born in Philadelphia. My mother was born in 1904. She was born in a little village called Camarna, which was at that time outside of Lemberg, which was in the Austro-Hungarian empire (14:00). Today it is outside of Lvov, Poland. But anyway, she came with her family to this country when she was three years old. My father was a jeweler; they were manufacturing jewelers on Sansom Street. That was the story. Then in, I guess, in 1959 – well, even a little before that, when – the plan was to put what’s now St. Peter’s Walkway – my mother was convinced that they would take our property, because it was the only one that went all the way through to Delancey Street. But of course, they didn’t. (15:00) They took the, actually, the four properties that were adjacent to the rectory, St. Peter’s rectory.

DS:      Right. Tell me what was there.

CA:     Well, there were four houses.

DS:      So there were two on Pine and two on Delancey?

CA:     Yes.

DS:      So there were four houses that came down for that walkway.

CA:     Yes. Exactly.

DS:      And how about from Cypress to Spruce? That part of the walkway?

CA:     Well, now, from Cypress to Spruce, I don’t remember too well. I believe, next to the police and fire station there was actually a right-of-way. So there was an alleyway there. (16:00) And that would have been next to the house that – the Adolph DeRoy Mark house is right there. You know the architect.

DS:      Yes, I do know him. Alan Chapman lived in a little house there. There was Metropolitan Hospital.

CA:     No, Metropolitan Hospital was where that new development is on Spruce Street.

DS:      That’s what I’m talking about, between Spruce and Cypress. And then there’s the park, and then there’s Delancey Street.

CA:     I think there was –

DS:      A right-of-way there? Always?

CA:     Well, there was Metropolitan Hospital. Then I think maybe there was a little alleyway there. I don’t really remember what was over there very well. (17:00)

DS:      When you were growing up as a child and playing, would you play on Delancey Street?

CA:     Yes.

DS:      Did you go very far away from home, or did you stick pretty well --?

CA:     Well, you know, there were a lot of stores. For instance, there was a store right on the southeast corner of Third and Delancey, OK? And that was a little grocery store. So I went there all the time. I do remember the first three houses that were commercially renovated in Society Hill. They were on that west side of Third Street, between Delancey and Pine; they’re the three low houses. They were sold for $30,000 apiece (18:00), which of course, everyone who was in the neighborhood thought (laughs) how preposterous! But, of course, that was a great bargain. But anyway, when they were proposing to put the St. Peter’s walkway, that’s when my parents bought the house at 719 Pine Street. Because my mother was convinced that we would be forced out of that property, at 329 Pine.

DS:      OK, 329 Pine and then you went to 719 Pine. I had 729.

CA:     No, 719.

DS:      Spruce. (19:00)

CA:     No, Pine.

DS:      She wanted to move?

CA:     No, she didn’t want to move, but she was convinced that the Redevelopment Authority, which had broad powers at that time, would take our property, because it was the only one that went all the way through to Delancey Street. They didn’t, of course, but they [her parents] had already bought the building at 719 Pine Street, which is where I still live.

DS:      Wonderful.

CA:     You know, and of course, they paid for the building at 719 Pine Street, where I still live, $13,500, in 1959. So the property which they bought at 329 Pine Street, (20:00) which was not actually quite as deep as the property I live in now, but a bigger property; you know, it was wider, and the building itself was larger. I think when they bought that in 1953, they paid $12,200 for it. These were enormous properties, enormous properties.

DS:      Big houses, and right across from St. Peter’s churchyard. So you had a nice view out the front.

CA:     Well, I did. We actually lived in the rear apartment, but, yes, the churchyard was one of my playgrounds.

DS:      Was it? And what would you play in the churchyard? (21:00)

CA:     I have some nice photographs of my friends and I under – you know there are a number of their sort of table grave-markers.

DS:      Yes, you would play among them. OK. Tell me more about your mother. Your father was a jeweler, and what did your mother do, other than raise you and your brother and take care of the house.

CA:     My mother ran the jewelry store. She really wasn’t home either. My brother was also a jeweler, and my father and my brother were master jewelers. (22:00)

DS:      And they owned the business, so your mother than ran it for the family.

CA:     She was in the front.

DS:      And this was on Sansom.

CA:     Seventh and Sansom Streets.

DS:      You didn’t want to go into jewelry?

CA:     I did not. I was – it became quite apparent very early that I had artistic talent, and really think that my father would have been an artist if he hadn’t – if it weren’t necessary for him to go to work at an early age. So my artistic talent was encouraged by my parents. (23:00)

DS:      So let’s go into your education. You went to McCall’s School?

CA:     I did.

DS:      From the very beginning?

CA:     I started out in kindergarten in West Philadelphia, and then we moved to – I guess it was pre-kindergarten – because I went to kindergarten at McCall, and all the way through.

DS:      To eighth grade?

CA:     No, because then it went only to the sixth grade. Then I went to a perfectly awful school. I went to Bartlett Junior High School, and I –

DS:      And where was that.

CA:     Bartlett Junior High School is now the Palumbo – it became eventually a (24:00) school of arts, the arts high school. But at that time it was Bartlett Junior High School. It was and is between 11th and 12th and Catherine. It was at that time just a terrible school, although most of the kids in the grades ahead of me were the standbys on Bandstand.

DS:      When you say it was terrible, what was terrible about it?

CA:     The education was just awful, just awful. That is really the reason that I applied to go to Girls High. And the school was so bad that I actually had to take a test. (25:00) Other people from other junior high schools with my grades would not have had to take a test [laughs] to get in. So then I went to Girls High.

DS:      You weren’t fearful. You’re just saying it wasn’t a good education.

CA:     Well, it was a bit iffy, I would say. It wasn’t as iffy as it became later on, but by the time my nieces got there it wasn’t safe.

DS:      And that would have been in the 70s?

CA:     No, my nieces – see, my brother was so much older than me, my nieces (26:00) were all closer to me in age than my brother was. So my youngest niece is 10 years younger than me, and my other niece is – and my oldest niece was only seven years younger than me. So they were more like sisters to me.

DS:      So you went to Girls High and graduated.

CA:     I went to Girls High and graduated from Girls High. (27:00)

DS:      How would you get there?

CA:     Well, I took the Broad Street subway out there. Although I was in the last class at what is now Masterman. That was Girls High.

DS:      That was Girls High.

CA:     I was the last class to actually go to that building at 17th and Spring Garden, and I was there for – now, I started school in February. At that time, there were two classes. You could start in September or February. So I started school in February; so I started high school in February. It was that one semester that I spent at 17th and Spring Garden. Then Girls High moved to Broad and Olney. And the way I got to Girls High at 17th and Spring Garden was I took the 90 bus. [laughs] (28:00)

DS:      So a lot of walking and transferring.

CA:     No, I took the 90 bus to 16th Street, and I took the bus up to Spring Garden, and then I took the bus down 17th and took the 90 bus again.

DS:      You graduate from Girls High, and then what did you do?

CA:     Then I wanted a good art school but within a university, and Syracuse (29:00) University seemed to be the right place. They reputedly had a very good art school within a university setting, and I wanted a university so I could have access to the other courses that were offered. But in point of fact, it turned out that the art school was sort of like a little bastard within the university. And at Girls High I was used to talking about art all the time and all of this, and nobody was interested in that at Syracuse. So then my father died. He died in February of ’63. That was a terrible thing for me. So I transferred actually to PCA [Philadelphia College of the Arts], which is now the University of the Arts. (30:00)

DS:      Right here. To be back home.

CA:     Yes, and also it was an art school, my fellow students were discussing art all the time, which was what I wanted.

DS:      So you knew Sam Maitin?

CA:     I did, and actually by this time, I actually didn’t know Sam. I met him just really a few months before he died. But he was doing printmaking at PCA, and I was in the painting department. And never the twain shall meet. But we moved into 719 Pine Street in I think it was January of 1960, and he moved into his house a few months (31:00) later. So, we were there on the same block.

DS:      Let’s go back to your childhood in the neighborhood. The building that your parents owned and the apartment that you all lived in had indoor plumbing and you had all – cooking and all that stuff.

CA:     Oh, yes. Three twenty-nine Pine Street had actually been turned into apartments probably in the ‘30s, and there were six apartments. During the war, 329 Pine Street had a very large fourth floor, which at that time, during the war, was used as a USO center.

DS:      A USO center? On the fourth floor?

CA:     Yes, it was a wonderful space. It was a very large building. Originally, all the roofs on those houses would have been peaked roofs, but if you walk by 329 Pine Street now, you’ll see that it doesn’t – the fourth floor does not have a peaked roof. And I think that was part of this renovation in the 1880s. It was really the [sound of telephone ringing]

[Tape is turned off, then on again.] (33:00)

DS:      So when your parents bought—

CA:     When my parents bought 329 Pine Street, they renovated two of the apartments for our apartment downstairs on the first floor rear, and they made an apartment for my brother and his three children and his wife on the second floor. And they also built an addition onto the back of that house. They added two bedrooms, one my parents’ bedroom on the first floor and another one upstairs, which was my brother’s apartment. These were very large apartments. We had a large, two-bedroom apartment, and (34:00) upstairs they had three bedrooms.

DS:      Now, tell me, did you go to Dr. Zubrow, or who did the family use for medical problems?

CA:     We went to Dr. Marva.

DS:      Marva. All right.

CA:     And I think – you know, we lived there a long time, and they had bought the building at 309 Pine Street.

DS:      The Marvas.

CA:     The Marvas. And I think when Don was going through medical school, I think my parents helped him. I mean, we never paid for doctor’s visits with him. (35:00)

DS:      Oh, trading….

CA:     I don’t know. That’s just the way it was, and I think that my parents had helped him. And I think they helped a number of people, because there are still people that I – the lawyer I go to will never take any money from me. [laughs] And he’ll never say why. But I think that’s what happened.

DS:      Was the family religious?

CA:     Not at all. As a matter of fact, I’m what you might call a red diaper baby. (36:00)

DS:      A red diaper baby. Explain?

CA:     You don’t know what a red diaper baby is. My father was a communist.

DS:      Oh, that kind of…

CA:     And my father was – I’ve always referred to him as a devout atheist. My parents were very Jewish but very unreligious. In fact, when we moved to 719 Pine Street, it was 1960. It was a little late for this. The phone rang. I’m 16 years old. (37:00) I pick up the phone, and there was this voice on the other end of the phone that said, “Get off the block, you dirty Communist.”

DS:      Wow.

CA:     I mean, it’s 1960.

DS:      Tell me, do you know a Lorraine Kelly?

CA:     I don’t.

DS:      Do you know a Phyllis Reed?

CA:     I don’t.

DS:      But you do know Patsy Stevenson.

CA:     No, I don’t. Oh, Patsy!

DS:      What was her maiden name?

CA:     Patsy’s name. Patsy and I went to elementary school together. Oh, gosh, what was Patsy’s …. I can’t remember.

DS:      So any other memories of playing in the neighborhood, or stories about (38:00) seeing the neighborhood change with the Redevelopment Authority coming in and changing everything and changing people’s lives?

CA:     I certainly have strong opinions about what was done in Society Hill. And I can say that it’s certainly a lovely neighborhood. But it was a fine neighborhood before.

DS:      Tell me about –

CA:     And in lots of ways it was a lot safer neighborhood than it is now.

DS:      Because?

CA:     Well, because, it wasn’t a target as it is now. I mean, three years ago I went home for lunch, and there was a man in my apartment. And they had broken in with a (39:00) screw driver. All right, somebody’s in your apartment. That’s one thing, but my bedroom is now – there used to be five apartments in the building where I live. Now there are four apartments. I took over one of the studio apartments as my bedroom. So that’s on the second floor rear of the house. And one thing I never noticed in all the years I’ve lived there: that particular door to what was a studio apartment, the hinges were on the outside. So I never noticed that. And he used his screwdriver, and that’s how he got in. (40:00) And I came home, and I heard weird noises in the front of the apartment. And I thought, “Oh, it must be the cats.” Even though there weren’t really cat noises. Had I only brought my dog home with me, because she used to come to – that was my dog. Even though she was Rottweiler– she’s dead now – she was a love mush. I went upstairs and I see that the door is open; so I have a phone in my bedroom and I called the police. It took (41:00) them 15 minutes to get there. My keys were in the door. I always come in through the garage, and through the kitchen. So my keys were downstairs. I was afraid to go back down. So I stood out in the hallway, the public hallway. And this thief, he had come in that way, through that apartment. So he didn’t know you could get out there on the first floor. I don’t know why. So he came upstairs, and – this is the part that I don’t understand – when he saw me in the hallway, he tried to throw me down the stairs, the second floor stairs. __________________________ That’s what I don’t understand. All right, (42:00) you’re robbing the apartment. He couldn’t throw me down the stairs. And then it took the police 15 minutes to get there. I said,’ “What took you so long?” “Oh, ________________.”

DS:      So you’re saying when you were growing up, everybody knew everybody else? It was that kind of thing? Or there wasn’t anything to steal? Or there were just too many people around?

CA:     Everybody – it was a neighborhood.

DS:      Air conditioning wasn’t around, so everybody was out?

CA:     Sure. It wasn’t the same kind of neighborhood that it is today.

DS:      Much closer. (43:00)

CA:     Yes, exactly.

DS:      And when did that start to change?

CA:     I think it started to change in the 60s. That’s when – here’s the one thing that I think was a terrible mistake about the whole plan. The idea was to get back to that original Philadelphia. Well, that original Philadelphia had a store on every corner, you know? And I think that’s the one thing that makes our neighborhood a bit sterile. There’s not the excitement of commerce in our neighborhood, the excitement of things going on, an exchange of goods and services. And that’s part of, I think, what makes (44:00) everybody a little isolated in our neighborhood as well. Later on, right at Fourth and Pine, there was a Spanish store. [sound of telephone ringing]. The black population – actually there was no Hispanic population in the neighborhood. There was a black population on Lombard Street, and Pine Street itself, from Third on up, was really a Jewish neighborhood. And there are still lots and lots of synagogues in the neighborhood, and Fourth Street was very wonderful. (45:00)

DS:      Are you talking about Fourth and Bainbridge?

CA:     Well, Fourth from Lombard on down, and from Lombard to Bainbridge Street – well, beyond – there were three great bakeries, and one pastry bakery, Bogoslovsky’s, and Fourth Street between South and Bainbridge, on the west side of the street, there was the dairy shop where you went, and you bought your butter cut from the big block, and the pot cheese. And then there was the live chicken store, and, you know, (46:00) all these wonderful, wonderful places. And, of course, South Street itself was just one clothing store after another. And, of course, beyond Bainbridge, there are still quite a few fabric stores, but then every store was a fabric store.

DS:      So this began the change, when the produce center left and when the Redevelopment came in?

CA:     Well, yes.

DS:      In the 50s and 60s.

CA:     In the 60s it all sort of fell apart. You know what? I cannot blame specifically the Redevelopment Authority, except that the Redevelopment Authority, they did do some, you know, they really forced all the stores out of the neighborhood. And, you (47:00) know, at Sixth and Pine, on the northeast corner of Sixth and Pine where that really quite unattractive –

[End of first side of the tape. Beginning of the second side of the tape.]

CA:     ... that was a delicatessen right there, and it was a beautiful building. (0:00)

              It was a beautiful, Victorian store. And they closed that, and that building was empty and boarded up for 15 years before it was demolished and the lovely building that’s there now was put up. There was a little grocery store on the southwest corner of Seventh and Pine, and that also was boarded up for 15 years before it was demolished, and a really quite unattractive building that is there now replaced it. And that particular building was a very old building. The one at Sixth and Pine was a Victorian building, but the one at Seventh and Pine was very old. And those were mistakes, in my view. (1:00)

DS:      And your parents: they felt so too?

CA:     I don’t think so. This is my take on it. It’s also true that the days of corner stores were certainly numbered at that time, although I think that the one at Sixth Street, Sixth and Pine, was viable. It was a delicatessen, after all. On the other side of the street, where they eventually put up the Section 8 housing, you know it quite offends me (2:00) that when they put up that housing, those were the first bars in the neighborhood.

DS:      On that block. On that corner, I mean.

CA:     In that whole area, those were the first bars on the windows.

DS:      Oh, bars, iron bars.

CA:     That they put up. They made those buildings look like prisons, in my view, and that’s really a terrible thing. But that property there, you know, Levis’s used to be in the next block down, between Lombard and South. And right there, Levis’s had another building; (3:00) so right there at Sixth and Pine used to be another Levis’s, where everybody used to hang. But that was torn down to make way for the Section 8 housing.

DS:      Any other stories?

CA:     I probably have lots of stories.

DS:      So there was a Spanish store at Fourth and Pine –

CA:     You know that store still exists?

DS:      No, where?

CA:     It is on the 300 block of Girard Avenue. I can’t remember the name of that (4:00) store. But it was a very interesting store. And it’s still there. Of course, it moved to where the Hispanic population actually was.

[Tape is turned off, then on again.]

DS:      Tell me about the lumber yard.

CA:     Riley’s Lumber Yard. Do you know where that was?

DS:      No.

CA:     Riley’s Lumber Yard. There are newish houses on the 600 block of Pine Street, on the south side of the street. That was Riley’s Lumber Yard. And Riley’s Lumber Yard, which still exists, also moved to Girard Avenue, and they are, I think, at Eighth and Girard. You know, this area, not that I think there should be a lumber yard on (5:00) Pine Street, but it was a neighborhood where things went on, besides people just staying in their houses and living there.

DS:      Commercial, businesses, manufacturing.

CA:     Yes, and I think that was a mistake of the grand plan. Did you ever see the grand plan?

DS:      Yes, I did.

CA:     It’s so fascinating, because that plan went all the way up to 50th Street, and encompassed many of the renovations that took years and years and years and years to actually happen. It included the expansion of Drexel University. It was really (6:00) quite a wonderful thing.

[Tape is turned off, then on again.]

DS:      There was also a hospital?

CA:     At Seventh and Lombard. This was right behind … that was for ….

DS:      Where Starr Garden is.

CA:     I know. It was across the street. Seventh or Sixth? It was behind Riley’s Lumber Yard, and that was a hospital for children with communicable diseases. Very (7:00) peculiar. And there was another residence or hospital across from – you know McCall School –

DS:      Where they have their auditorium.

CA:     Well, it was – it’s where, actually, it’s where the school yard is. It’s not where they have their – you know, there was another street there. And down at the corner at Sixth Street there was a little, tiny building; it was a little store where a man sold penny candies. He used to come out with his box of penny candies to sell to the children (8:00) when they came out for recess. But it was west of his place was this hospital building or whatever it was, which eventually became a dormitory for PCA, before it was completely torn down and the yard expanded.

[Tape is turned off, then on again.]

DS:      Lots of kids in the neighborhood. And you walked to school.

CA:     I walked to school. I would pick up so and so and so and so on the way, or I would be picked up by so and so. And we would all walk to school together.

[End of interview.]

© 2008 Project Philadelphia 19106TM. All rights reserved.

About the Interview

Dorothy Stevens
Cynthia J. Eiseman
Interview Location
1041 Buttonwood Street
Interview Date
November 5, 2008
Abercauph, Carol
Narrator Type
Lifelong Resident
Oral History Sources