112 Acres of Change in the Heart of West Philadelphia

Essay by Mark Frazier Lloyd, in collaboration with Caleb C. Bradham, 2010

Chapter One: A Gentleman’s Farm, 1771 to 1835

It was a prosperous Quaker tailor (and radical social reformer) who consolidated the land.  Beginning in October 1771, Thomas Harrison made three purchases in less than six months.  By April 1772 he had assembled a ninety-acre estate on the south side of "the road leading from Philadelphia to Haverford."  Harrison improved the place by building a house and barn and by planting orchards.

Chapter Four: The City Builds a New Community, 1959 to 1983

In the interim, the City of Philadelphia, its Housing Authority, and its School District shared a vision for the land bounded by 44th Street on the east, 46th Street on the west, Market Street on the south, and Haverford Avenue on the north.  They worked together to provide housing, recreation, health care, and education for the residents of West Philadelphia.