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Our Work- September 2019

Artist Michael Morgan Completes Brick Sculpture


In collaboration with NKCDC and the Somerset Neighbors for Better Living (SNBL) civic association, artist and Kensington resident Michael Morgan completed a brick sculpture earlier this month displayed at the corner of Frankford Ave and Silver St. Watch our video to learn more about the making of the sculpture and the community collaboration that went into it.

Improving the Lehigh Viaduct underpass has been a priority of the SNBL since its founding in 2012. Working with Community Design Collaborative at SNBL meetings, residents envisioned Frankford Avenue as a clean and safe neighborhood gateway that included attractive lighting, landscaping and public art. In the following years, with financial support from Conrail, Domus and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, NKCDC stabilized vacant lots along the viaduct, planted small gardens and installed LED lights under the tracks.

Earlier this year, a full transformation of the vacant lots on Frankford was made possible by the inaugural Community Impact Project partnership with DVGBC. DVGBC and NKCDC raised over $13,000 and secured multiple in-kind gifts from the community, including a large capstone gift from Mr. Contractor Inc. Landscape architect Hans Hesselein of Apiary Studio drafted a series of designs to meet the needs of landowners, residents and local businesses.

Back in June, more than 30 volunteers built trellises, installed a drip irrigation system, and planted fruit trees, perennials, berry bushes and wildflowers. At the same time, the city's Community Life Improvement Programs (CLIP) cut weeds and removed trash on adjacent streets.

October 'Block Build' kicked off work


This fall and winter, 33 Kensington homes will each receive up to $15,000 in home repairs through a new partnership between Rebuilding Together Philadelphia and the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC).

The initiative kicked off with a volunteer Block Build on the 1900 block of East Somerset Street on October 13 and 14, and independent contractors will continue the work through the winter.

Volunteers wire overhead light

"As new development comes to Kensington, home repair is the most important thing we can do to prevent residents from being displaced and improve their health," said Tess Donie, Associate Community Engagement Director for NKCDC.

"Over the last ten years, we constantly have been hearing that Kensington neighbors need help repairing their homes, but there was no help available," Donie said. "We are inspired and grateful for this partnership with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia."

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is an independent affiliate of the national Rebuilding Together network, which has provided critical repairs, accessibility modifications, and energy efficiency upgrades for low-income homeowners and community centers across the United States for more than 25 years.

"Beyond helping individuals, these repairs revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities," said Stefanie Fleischer Seldin, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia.

At the Block Build on October 13 and 14, volunteers ripped out old carpets and installed new flooring, made electrical and plumbing repairs, installed grab bars and handrails, and painted. Repairs were directed by a house captain and skilled leader at each site.

New Kensington Community Development Corporation
2771 Ruth Street, Suite 1, Philadelphia, PA 19134
P: (215) 427-0350  |  F: (215) 427-1302  |  info@nkcdc.org
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