There are beautiful photos and interesting tidbits throughout. Here are a few lines from the start:
In West Philly, Saint Bernard Street is less a street name than a collective noun.
It is the designation given to six discrete segments of pavement, all between 49th and 50th Street yet strewn across more than two miles of urban grid. Perhaps because of its fragmented nature, St. Bernard has left relatively little imprint upon the written (and digital) records of a city suffused with history and with people and organizations who labor to document it.
But let us consider just its longest segment–the three blocks of South St. Bernard Street bounded by Florence and Chester Avenues, in the neighborhood of Cedar Park–and inquire: what can the Web tell us about it?
A small miracle occurred this morning 38th and Market. At the last minute, the City swooped in and outbid developers to save one of the Saint Bernard Community Garden properties, 1010 S Saint Bernard Street!
Sheriff’s Sale: It was a very tense auction. Members of the garden attended the 10 am sheriff’s sale, handing out flyers attempting to persuade bidders to leave the garden property for the City. Though the Garden was assured by our Councilwoman’s office that the City would bid on the property, the City representatives at the auction seemed unaware of that promise.
The bidding started at $1,000 and reached $51,000 – more than the Garden was prepared to bid. The City was not bidding and we were shouting complaints. At $51,000 the auctioneer suddenly put the bidding on hold. They went on to other properties. The City representatives appeared to be whispering and checking their phones. Ten minutes later the auctioneer announced that 1010 Saint Bernard bidding would resume. The City immediately bid $71,500. There was a moment of silence and the auctioneer closed the sale in the City’s favor.
Next Steps: With 1010 Saint Bernard now officially in City hands, gardeners will work with the City to ensure that the property remains a garden. Our goal is to see it eventually transferred to a land trust and remain a community green space and asset for decades to come.
The campaign, however, does not end there. The adjacent garden plot, 1008 S Saint Bernard, owned by a private firm, will have to be secured by the Garden. It will likely go up for sale next year. Fundraising will continue and all funds raised to date will go towards the campaign to preserve the entire garden.
Thank you: Special thanks to Councilwoman Blackwell and staff, Sandy Hayes, Christopher Riddick and Paulette Adams, for their support. We’d also like to thank Cedar Park Neighbors, Dock Street, Jeff Carpineta, Cecily Anderson, Amy Laura Cahn and all the friends and neighbors that supported our campaign and attended last week’s fundraiser. Finally, without the hard work of Hamidah, Melissa, Tonya, Seth, Sue, Phil, Marlene, Trevor, Jeff, Laura, Leah and other gardeners, we wouldn’t have had the win we did today.
Julia Taylor Massage, Bartram’s Garden, Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, West Philly Tool Library, Fatima Adamu Yoga, Studio 34, Birdie Busch, The Green Line Cafe, Cassidy Rehwaldt Photography, Alfa American Tavern, Philadelphia Urban Adventures, Hamidah McCorkle, Lila Stumpfig, Erin Bailey, Sue Gerber, Douglas Witmer, Ken Bailer, Alyssa Maloof Photography, Wake Up Yoga, The Gold Standard Cafe, VIX Emporium, & Forsyth Gardens..
Big news! We successfully had the sheriff’s sale of our community garden property postponed until Wednesday, December 19th. That gives us more time to raise the funds needed to save our garden. We thank the staff at Councilwoman Blackwell’s office for helping us postpone the sale.
We still need donations to help us purchase the property. Visit our “Save the Garden” page to learn more and donate.