Brewerytown is a neighborhood rich in history, both amazing and turbulent. The name “Brewerytown” comes from the nine breweries located within its boundaries during the late 19th Century. The population was mostly comprised of German immigrants who worked in the breweries. However, breweries were not the only industry located in the neighborhood; baseball played a huge part in the history of Brewerytown. The home field of the Philadelphia Athletics was located on the Jefferson Street Grounds from 1871-1890. The stadium opened with a 5,000 seat capacity and was located on a large block bounded by Jefferson Street, 25th Street, Master Street, and 27th Street.
Brewerytown experienced extreme growth until the Prohibition era of the 1920s. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, none of the early breweries were able to reopen. Brewerytown, however, remained a neighborhood full of factories and industry.
Two major social trends mirrored in many Northern cities also affected Brewerytown; the Great Migration of Southern Blacks and the suburbanization of white residents. As population demographics shifted, the size of the overall population began to dwindle. At the beginning of the 1980s, the industry that once was the backbone of the community disappeared, and so did the jobs. Brewerytown transformed from a booming working class neighborhood to a more distressed area, marked by low employment, crime and drugs. Additionally, Girard Avenue, which was once a bustling commercial corridor, saw its retail density dissipate.
Currently Brewerytown is in the process of change. Though recent real estate growth has slowed, the community continues to repopulate and diversify. Between 1999 and 2006, over 200 new homes were developed in Brewerytown, as well as a technology and community center. The western portion of Girard Avenue is seeing a resurgence of businesses. Its proximity to Center City, the Philadelphia Zoo and the Philadelphia Art Museum makes it very desirable to renters and buyers. The prevalence of vacant land in the community provides opportunity for development of additional housing.
Interactive Map and Boundaries of Bewerytown
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