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Hawthorne, Philadelphia


Hawthorne, Philadelphia

Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Hawthorne School
Hawthorne School
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
ZIP code 19147
Area code(s) Area code 215

Hawthorne is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located between Broad Street and 11th Street, and extends from South Street to Washington Avenue.


  • Background 1
  • History 2
  • Education 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The most prominent landmark in the neighborhood was Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, a public housing high-rise complex at 13th and Fitzwater Street, originally called Hawthorne Square. The four MLK towers were imploded on October 17, 1999, and have been slowly replaced with a mix of low-rise public housing, based on New Urbanism ideas, thanks to the HOPE VI program.

Hawthorne is in transition, one of the few neighborhoods contiguous to Center City, Philadelphia that had been left relatively untouched by major upscale development. It is also sandwiched between gentrifying neighborhoods: Southwest Center City is to its west and Bella Vista is to its east.

Much of Hawthorne is currently being renovated. Old homes are being renovated with only the exterior remaining. Other properties that were commercial are being (or have been) demolished and new town homes have replaced them.

Approximately 10 new homes a year for the past 2 years, the current tax abatement and home with parking are what are attracting new residents.

These new homes as exclusive and at the upper range of the Philadelphia real-estate market, costing about 720,000 dollars; the new residents are in a much higher income bracket the unrenovated existing community.

The Nathaniel Hawthorne elementary school was converted into condominiums in 2011.

The public housing is being replaced by middle/high income families.

The High School for the Creative and Performing Arts is also located in Hawthorne, in the former Ridgway Library. The ornate building dates to 1878 and is modeled after the Parthenon, and is the former home of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


According to Sandra Robinson [1], Hawthorne Square was originally the name given to the area between roughly Lombard and Bainbridge. A popular African American nightlife spot for jazz musicians, vices, and rowdy bars, it was also a site of poverty and street crime. When the city made an effort to revitalize Society Hill and the neighborhood now called Washington Square West, the community of Hawthorne Square was essentially pushed to the south and west, creating "Hawthorne" with its current boundaries.

The Washington Avenue Historic District, Bartlett School, and Nathaniel Hawthorne School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]


The School District of Philadelphia operates public schools.

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates the Charles Santore Branch (formerly Southwark Branch), serving Bella Vista.[2]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Charles Santore Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on September 22, 2011.

External links

  • The Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition
  • The Home of Martin Luther King Plaza Homeowners Associations
  • "The Place Where You Live: Hawthorne," South Philly Review
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza implosion footage
  • MLK Plaza revitalization plans
  • Historic Photographs of Hawthorne,

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