Stories about life in Liddonfield housing project and its impact on the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Upper Holmesburg. These true stories reveal how government policy affected the lives of real people, from the project residents to area homeowners during the 5 decades of Liddonfield’s existence. Stories and articles are written by a former resident of the project.

FIGHT THE STIGMA!

FIGHT THE STIGMA!
Rosemary Reeves, Blogger, standing on Philadelphia Skyline

Liddonfield Housing Project



Standing in the midst of an otherwise middle-class neighborhood in the Upper Holmesburg section of Philadelphia, Liddonfield Housing Project had a notorious reputation for decades.  Built in the 1950s, Liddonfield was home to generations of low-income families.  Demolition of the housing project was under way by April 2011.  Now there is an empty field where the housing project stood.

An example of a really good map depicting the location of the former Liddonfield Housing Project (coupled with a stereotypical comment) can be viewed on wikimapia.  A map of the area surrounding 4401-G Megargee Street, home of the Reeves family from 1958-1967, can be viewed at Google Maps.

LIDDONFIELD WAS IN SEVERE DECLINE BY 2010
Originally, Liddonfield was to be replaced by a mixed-income neighborhood. (See the Philadelphia Tribune article dated August 16, 2006) but no developers came forward to build it.

Liddonfield's design isolated it from the surrounding community of homeowners.  It's isolation gave rise to a subculture of people living on the fringes of society.  Its distinctive features included bullpens - concrete enclosures used by residents for storage and hanging laundry. 

1960s LIDDONFIELD

Liddonfield circa 1964. Note bullpens in background
3






Liddonfield was a predominantly white housing project until the 1990s



INSIDE THE PUBLIC HOUSING APARTMENT


3 BEDROOMS, 1 KITCHEN, 1 BATH, 10 PEOPLE

OUR LIVING ROOM HAD A BACK DOOR




In the picture above I am wearing my brother's army hat.  The chair behind me was dragged in off the street.  Someone had it sitting outside to be picked up by trash collectors.  We needed a chair, so we took it.  

Kevin and I on Christmas Day.


A neighbor in the project bought me the chalk board for a Christmas present.  I wanted one very badly so I could pretend to be a teacher.  Note that I am writing in cursive in my first year of school.  St. Dominic in northeast Philadelphia was an excellent school back then and still is today.


FOR MORE PHOTOS OF LIDDONFIELD RESIDENTS

View a farewell to Liddonfield video by L.A. Ives which includes lots of photos of the project’s former residents.    


VIDEO TRIBUTE TO OUR LIDDONFIELD FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO PASSED ON


You can view a touching video of Liddonfield family and friends who passed on, which was produced by Leonard A. Ives.  Just click on this link.  

1 comment:

  1. "Liddonfield's design isolated it from the surrounding community of homeowners. It's isolation gave rise to a subculture of people living on the fringes of society."

    That's terrible. It makes me sick that something like that was allowed to go on in America.

    It makes me even sicker that this mindset persists.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting on PublicHousingStories.com!