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How Philly Neighborhoods Killed the Crosstown Expressway

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Gloria Dei Old Swedes Episcopal Church

916 South Swanson Street

Philadelphia, PA 19147

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Area residents will learn how a diverse group of neighborhood activists in the late '60s and early '70s stopped the Crosstown Expressway in its tracks and kept the South Street area from being destroyed by an 8-lane, block-wide depressed highway.

You can fight City Hall . . . and win!

The free panel discussion starts 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 19 at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church’s Sanctuary, Columbus Blvd. and Christian St. It is co-sponsored by Queen Village Neighbors Association and the Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation (HGDPC).

The panel includes these veterans of the Crosstown Expressway fight:

  • Joel Spivak, architect, artist, former owner of Rocketships & Accessories and originator of Philadelphia’s National Hot Dog Month Celebration.

  • Marge Schernecke, a community organizer and leader in Queen Village whose family has lived in the area for five generations.

  • Paul Levy, founding CEO of the extremely successful Center City District and author of "Queen Village: The Eclipse of a Community.”

  • Ruth and Rick Snyderman, founders of The Works and Snyderman Galleries, and key players in organizing the “South Street Renaissance.”

  • John Coates, former housing development leader and Executive Director for SCPAC, a coalition of river-to-river community groups.

  • Conrad Weiler, former national activist preventing displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods and Temple University political science faculty member since 1968.

    The panelists will describe the strategies and tactics they used to fight City Hall, derail the ill- fated Crosstown Expressway and help keep nearby neighborhoods intact.

    Attendees should come early. The last meeting of this type attracted an overflow crowd. To preserve a record of the event, it will be videotaped for YouTube.

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Gloria Dei Old Swedes Episcopal Church

916 South Swanson Street

Philadelphia, PA 19147

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