Gentrification in Philadelphia Neighborhoods—An Artist’s Perspective

Gentrification in Philadelphia Neighborhoods—An Artist’s Perspective
2min 30sec

A common gentrification story begins with artists. In search of large work spaces at low prices, they move into neighborhoods full of vacant industrial buildings. They’re soon followed by wealthier arrivals, who are drawn to the renovated lofts and cultural buzz. Eventually, rising costs threaten to drive out the same artists who first raised the profile of the area.

In Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, a version of this story has been playing out. Painter and sculptor Jennifer Baker set up her studio at Third and Green streets in 1978, taking over an industrial building with no heat or plumbing. She is now part of a dwindling community of working artists.

This video shares her perspective on how the pace and scale of development is changing the neighborhood and leaving few connections with the past.

Gentrification in an old industrial area like Northern Liberties looks different than change in other types of Philadelphia neighborhoods. Learn more about gentrification in Philadelphia here.

Historical photos courtesy of Jennifer Baker.

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Gentrification in Philadelphia
Gentrification in Philadelphia
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Philadelphia’s Changing Neighborhoods

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Philadelphia’s Changing Neighborhoods

In recent years, a number of Philadelphia neighborhoods have undergone significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing.

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Gentrification and Neighborhood Change in Philadelphia

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In recent years, a number of Philadelphia neighborhoods have undergone significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing. Such shifts, often seen as gentrification, have received a great deal of attention in the city.

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Video

Gentrification in Philadelphia Neighborhoods

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Video

Though gentrification can affect neighborhood institutions in a multitude of ways, these institutions can serve as points of continuity in a changing landscape and provide a link between new and old residents.