Saturday, May 14, 2016

Philadelphia Greektown

Greektown is an interesting term. It seems to have come into usage when Greeks were beginning to abandon their urban neighborhoods on their way out to the suburbs. A few Greektowns--most notably Chicago and Toronto--used the designation to create a marketable commercial area promoting a Greek experience (culinary, etc.) If you ask anyone in Philadelphia were was its Greektown, they will look at you like you're crazy. Urban redevelopment wiped out Philadelphia's Greektown in the 1960s. White flight coupled by the expansion of medical centers encouraged Greeks to leave their original neighborhood and found new communities at Elkins Park, Broomall, and Cherry Hill. Saint George, one of the two original churches, remained in its original location mostly because it served as the Cathedral of the Bishop of New Jersey. A Greek retirement home right behind the church also guaranteed the maintenance of an elderly community. 

What were the limits of Greektown in the 1920s? Well, that's one of the things we hope to establish in our research this summer. We begin with a provisional demarcation of Greektown as it was defined by oral histories in the 1960s, an area between Walnut and Lombard and Twelfth and Eighth streets. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i find an amazing blog.I see lot of subject from fokida greece that is my birth place.All very interesting.Keep going.


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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States