At the start of 2021, SoWe acquired a vacant lot on the corner of Filbert and Fremont Sts. in the heart of the Cabbage Hill neighborhood in SoWe. You may remember this site because it housed a large billboard. SoWe first requested the removal of the billboard from the owner as it was beginning to fall. The billboard was unsightly in a dense residential neighborhood. After negotiations Lamar Advertising agreed to remove the billboard and donate the lot to the neighborhood.
The Southwest Revitalization Strategy for parks and public realm calls for creating additional open space amenities for the neighborhood. The SoWe Parks Committee has been diligently working to identify potential open space areas since its inception in 2016. The committee is excited to work with the community to create a small pocket park on this lot.
SoWe Parks Committee worked to engage the neighborhood to gather feedback on the space. The committee held a community engagement session in June of 2021 and gathered residents to hear feedback and watch films that celebrated Black filmmakers in honor of Juneteenth. Additionally, SoWe engaged residents and partners with experience with urban landscape design to act as a steering committee to guide the plan. The community envisioned a space that would be a healing place for reflection, provide additional green space and plantings, and public art.
We are excited to announce that we are ready to ‘break ground’ this April. The first phase of the plan is landscaping. On April 22nd, we are inviting community members for a volunteer workday to plant and spread mulch. We hope that you will join us to establish this pocket park as a healing garden and celebrate as a community. We will be joined by our partners the City of Lancaster, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Penn State Master Gardeners. Following the planting day, we will continue to engage residents and a local artist to explore public art opportunities.
The SoWe Board and the SoWe Community Safety Committee has moved to submit public comments and concerns in response to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Magisterial District Reestablishment Proposal for the Second Judicial District. The proposal outlines recommendations to reduce the caseload for district 02-1-01, the southwest district of Lancaster City. District 02-1-01 has the highest caseload in the county. The proposal recommends to reduce the size of the district as well as allow certain cases such as welfare fraud to be tried by judges from other magisterial districts with lower caseloads and were not elected by residents of district 02-1-01.
SoWe maintains that the proposal does not allow southwest residents to equally and equitably access the justice system compared to county residents. SoWe calls for a larger community engagement process to understand community concerns. Full comments and concerns are outlined in the letter below.
The Lancaster County’s website describes the Magisterial District Courts as ‘the first level of judicial authority the Pennsylvania and is the court where most people experience the judicial system for the first time. Magisterial District Judges handle all traffic cases, minor criminal cases, and civil cases involving amounts up to $12,000.’ There are 19 MDJ’s throughout the county, who are elected by their district to serve six-year terms.
Using your smartphone or tablet as your guide, take a stroll down Manor Street at your own pace and discover the history behind some of the old houses and other buildings on Manor Street. Also, get to know some of the interesting people responsible for the growth of Manor Street and its various businesses in the mid 1800s to early 1900s.
Installation of the Artful Intersection planned for the top of Cabbage Hill will commence on Sept. 11, followed by a Community Paint Day on Sept. 18. Motorists should be advised of street closures in the area on both days.
September 11 | 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– W. Vine St. at E. Filbert St.
– W. Strawberry St. between Vine St. and St. Joseph St.
September 18 | 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– W. Vine St. at E. Filbert St., and between St. Joseph St. to W. Strawberry St./Mulberry St. intersection
– W. Strawberry St. at High St., and between Vine St. and St. Joseph St.
– S. Mulberry St. at King St.
Residents living on W. Vine St. may use the St. Joseph’s Church parking lot as a detour thru to St. Joseph St. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both days of closure. All motorists should follow posted detours on both days of closure.
A street mural created by artist Fern Dannis in partnership with Peter Barber of Two Dudes Painting Company using input from the community will help improve pedestrian safety and enhance public space at the intersection of W. Strawberry St., W. Vine St. and S. Mulberry St.
This five-way intersection is a sometimes-confusing space integral to neighborhood and city-wide traffic circulation. The artful intersection is expected to expand the perceived public space to encompass the street; increase awareness and safety of alternative forms of transportation, and boost community development.
The project team welcomes the community to attend the Community Paint Day on September 18. Those wishing to volunteer can sign up at here.
Dannis and Barber were selected by a project team, including site neighbors, arts professionals and a Public Art Advisory Board (PAAB) member.
This project is part of the Bloomberg Foundation’s Asphalt Art Initiative grant program, which embraces art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets. The City of Lancaster is one of 16 cities to receive this grant, in partnership with SoWe, a resident-led community initiative of Tenfold (formerly Tabor/LHOP).
For more information about Artful Intersections and the project process, visit engage.cityoflancasterpa.com/en/projects/artful-intersections-cabbage-hill.
Follow-up survey launches to track SoWe initiative’s progress and future planning
SoWe, an initiative of Tenfold, announced the launch of a follow-up survey that will give Southwest Lancaster residents an opportunity to share their feedback on current neighborhood needs, resource gaps, and the impact of SoWe investments that have occurred since the original survey and SoWe initiative was launched in 2016. This will give the SoWe initiative the opportunity to track progress made over the past five years and shape planning efforts for the next five years.
The follow-up survey will mirror
the original survey that was conducted as part of the Wells Fargo Regional
Foundation Neighborhood Planning Grant in 2016. Millersville University’s
Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change will work with the SoWe initiative
to administer the follow-up survey and complete the data analysis.
SoWe residents will receive the survey via a mailing and other activities that are planned over the next couple months. SoWe residents can complete the survey by clicking here. SoWe residents are strongly encouraged to participate, as their feedback will be used to set the vision, strategy and objectives for SoWe neighborhood investment over the next five years.
Since inception, the SoWe
initiative has leveraged over $5.8 million dollars to support the SoWe neighborhood
and its residents. By listening to neighborhood feedback, the SoWe initiative
has invested in affordable housing, public parks and street scape, youth
programing and education, community safety, neighborhood connections and
economic opportunity. Major successes of the SoWe initiative include the
renovation of Culliton Park, the establishment of Price Elementary as a
Community School, renovation of neighborhood housing for affordable
homeownership and rental opportunities, investments into private housing to
include an Affordable Home Repair program and the Façade Improvement Program.
A big thank you to all the residents who came out to Two Dudes Painting Co. for the Strawberry Hill Artful Intersection Community Engagement Session. If you were not able to attend, do not worry, here is a recap with meeting materials and videos!
The session started with a brief Powerpoint presentation by Fern Dannis with examples of other asphalt art projects, project scope, and timeline. Jim Gerhart outlined the historical context of this intersection.
Participants were given site maps and tracing paper to make notes or sketches, along with a handout of suggested ideas.
The City of Lancaster is working with local artist, Fern Dannis, along with Two Dudes Painting Company to create an artful intersection at the Strawberry Hill intersection. This project is part of the Bloomberg Foundation’s Asphalt Art Initiative to create street murals and other creative interventions to improve pedestrian safety and enhance public spaces.
The intersection of West Strawberry Street, West Vine Street, and South Mulberry Street sits at the top of Cabbage Hill. This five-way intersection is a confusing space for pedestrians and vehicles and is integral to the neighborhood and city-wide traffic circulation. Public engagement is beginning June 3rd, with the artwork being designed over the summer. The final application of paint-to-asphalt is set for September 11, 2021.
Cant make the community events but still want to provide feedback? Fill out this survey.
What is an artful intersection? Artful Intersections connect artists and neighbors to work together to create street murals in their neighborhoods. The street murals serve as a reflection of the life and culture of the neighborhood; it is expected to expand the perceived public space to encompass the street; increase awareness and safety of alternative forms of transportation, and boost community development.
To learn more about the project, please visit https://engage.cityoflancasterpa.com. We are asking residents to respond to a community survey to provide input on pedestrian safety and the artwork for the intersection.
was nothing but forest, farmland, and pasture until 1762 when Bethelstown was
laid out with 66 building lots on the first two blocks of what would become
Manor and High Streets. Bethelstown grew slowly; by 1815, more than 50 years
after its founding, there were only about 25-30 houses on its 66 lots. Nearly
all of the houses were one-story houses made of logs and rough-sawn wood.
Most of the
original houses on Manor and High were later replaced by two- and three-story
brick houses built in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, at
least one of the charter-member houses of old Bethelstown lasted well into the
twentieth century before being razed—a log house with weatherboarding that used
to stand at 442 Manor before it was taken down in 1963 to make room for a
the question: Was 442 Manor the only survivor of the original 25-30 one-story
houses from old Bethelstown, or is it possible that more of the original
one-story houses are still present, hiding behind modern vinyl siding and
form-stone? Most of the historical sources needed to answer this question are
available online. The only one not completely online is county tax lists, and
the staff of LancasterHistory was kind enough to supply the lists for the years
not yet online.
Maps, I was surprised to discover that 27 one-story houses are still present in
the 400 and 500 blocks of Manor and High. Of the 27, nine are single houses,
fourteen are in seven house pairs, and four are grouped together in a connected
row of houses. Using newspaper articles, city directories, street maps,
property deeds, and other sources, I was able to determine that 20 of the 27
current one-story houses in the first two blocks of Manor and High were built
in 1850 or later, and therefore are not old enough to be original houses from
old Bethelstown. The remaining seven possibilities—two on Manor and five on
High—were investigated in more detail.
Of the seven
houses that predate 1850, five were found to have been built in the 1840s,
leaving just two—433 and 435 High Street—that had the potential to be old
enough to be original Bethelstown houses. A couple of key deeds and tax records
show that these two one-story houses, which are next-door neighbors on the
northwest side of the 400 block of High, were built on Bethelstown lot 28, and
that both houses were already present in 1840. The deeds show that 433 is a log
house, adding to the potential that it could have been built quite a bit before
things a little more challenging, detailed maps and city directories do not
exist before 1840, and many pre-1840 deeds that would be helpful seem to have
gone unrecorded or have been lost. Consequently, tax lists took on a more
important role in tracking these two houses before 1840. The continuity from
year to year in the amount of ground rent paid for the lot, as well as the
assessed value of the houses, enabled me to trace 433 and 435 High back in time
before 1840 with some success. Also helpful were occasional notes written by
the tax assessor when the properties were bought or sold.
is that “YES” is my answer to the question of whether any of the 25-30 houses
from the pre-1815 days of old Bethelstown have survived. The weight of the
evidence points to the one-story log house at 433 High as the oldest surviving
house on the Hill. It appears to have been built no later than about 1801, and
possibly earlier. Not surprisingly, because they are neighboring houses on the
same original lot, the one-story frame house at 435 High also is old, having
been built about 1814. I believe these two are the oldest surviving houses on
Cabbage Hill—older by at least a couple decades than Catharine Yeates’ 1838
summer cottage at 613 Fremont, previously considered the oldest survivor.
built these historic houses at 433 and 435 High, and who were their early
owners? The early history of the houses involves a couple generations of the
Bier family. Peter Bier, Sr. (1701-1781) was a German immigrant who arrived in
this country in 1748, bringing with him a teenaged son, Peter, Jr. (1732-1801),
and settling in Lancaster about 1760. Peter, Jr. was a cordwainer (shoemaker)
living in the southeast part of the city, but owning several other houses and
significant acreage, including on the Hill. Peter, Jr. married Elizabeth Buch
in 1760 at First Reformed Church, and they had a son, Peter III (1763-1843).
Peter III also was a shoemaker, but later in life a farmer. Peter III and his
wife Catharine had several children, including a fourth-generation Peter
(1797-1849) who became a doctor.
Jr., who died in 1801, appears to have acquired Bethelstown lot 28 shortly
before his death. Peter, Jr. may have built the house now at 433 High as soon
as he acquired the lot, or the lot may have already had the house on it when he
acquired it. If Peter, Jr. built it, the house dates to about 1800-01; if lot
28 already had a house on it when he bought it, the house dates to the late
1700s and was built by an unknown first owner. I suspect the house was already
there when Peter, Jr. bought the lot, because he died within six months, and
probably would not have had the time to build a house. This means the house
likely was built in the late 1700s.
As part of
Peter, Jr.’s estate, lot 28 and the house on it was inherited by his widow
Elizabeth. She may have lived in the house for a short time, but mostly she
rented the house to a series of tenants, including, in the years immediately
following Peter, Jr.’s death, to John Williams, a young mason who decades later
would end up owning most of the land in the southern half of Cabbage Hill.
Also, a few records suggest that John Drepperd may have lived in the house in
the early 1810s. Drepperd was a gunmaker whose father and grandfather were both
famous gunmakers supplying rifles for troops in the Revolutionary War.
about 1814, the widow Bier (or her son Peter III) seems to have added a frame
house to lot 28 (now 435 High). Both houses were occupied by tenants for the
next 10 years or so, but then, about 1824, Elizabeth transferred the deed for
the lot and houses to her son Peter III. Peter III continued to rent the houses
to tenants up until 1841 when he sold lot 28 and both houses to Jacob Liphart,
a real-estate investor who lived in Marietta.
rented the houses out for a short while, and then split the 62-foot-wide lot in
half, with the northeast half containing the one-story log house now numbered
433 High, and the southwest half containing the one-story frame house now
numbered 435 High. In 1844, Liphart sold the half with 433 to John Zimmerer, a
middle-aged tailor and his wife Sarah. Earlier, in 1842, Liphart had sold the
half with 435 to Robert Boas, a middle-aged laborer, his wife Franciska, and
their young son. Both Zimmerer and Boas were German immigrants, and both
families lived in the houses they had bought, each of which was valued at $220
Zimmerer died in 1857, and his wife Sarah sold the log house at 433 to Jacob
and Susan Glassbrenner for $300. The Glassbrenner family lived in the house for
a few years and then rented it out to tenants. After Jacob died, his widow
Susan, who had moved to Philadelphia, sold the house to William Lebkicher in
Franciska Boas lived in the frame house at 435 High for many years. Sometime in
the 1860s, they added the two-story brick house next door at 437 High,
squeezing it into the remaining part of their lot. Boas and his wife moved into
the larger 437 and rented 435 out to tenants until Boas’s death. In 1881, the
frame house at 435 High and its larger brick companion at 437 were sold as part
of Boas’s estate for $1,000 to John Kirsch. In 1920, after Kirsch had died, the
courts granted the property to his widow Barbara at a value of $500 as part of
her widow’s exemption.
Bier III would have difficulty recognizing his houses. The one-story log house
at 433 High is covered with vinyl siding, and the one-story frame house at 435
High is sheathed in gray form-stone. Both houses have had their original doors,
windows, and roofs replaced. Dormers have been replaced or enlarged, and
concrete steps now lead up to the front doors. But behind all the modern
features, more than 200 years of history lie hidden.
It is my
belief that 433 and 435 High Street are the only two houses that survive from
the original 25-30 houses built in old Bethelstown between 1762 and 1815. Since
Bethelstown preceded the development of the rest of the Hill, these two houses
also are the oldest surviving houses on all of Cabbage Hill.
Sometimes a little historical sleuthing can uncover some remarkable stories hiding just behind modern siding and form-stone on the old houses on the Hill.
Lancaster City Alliance is accepting Façade Grant applications from May 1st to June 15th. SoWe residents are eligible to apply for funds to improve the exterior of their homes. This a matching grant; residents and businesses are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per property. For program details and to see if you qualify contact Alex Otthofer at email@example.com or 717.696.6206. Staff is available to assist in English and Spanish.
More information about the Façade Program can be found on our website here
SoWe also offers a low cost, low interest loans for residents to make necessary repairs to their homes through our Home Repair Program. Home Owners are encouraged to apply if they need financial support to make renovations. Applicants are required to find their own contractors. Contact Jake Thorsen if you’re interested in learning more about the program!
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is open and eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, including rent, utility, and other housing related costs. This program is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed to alleviate renters who are struggling from a loss of income.
To find more information about the program and to see if you qualify visit Lancasterhelp.Rent or view the one page info sheets below.
SoWe and its partners are assisting residents to complete their application. If you need assistance or have questions please contact our team to schedule a time to meet.
Available locations for application assistance in SoWe and Lancaster City:
BASE Inc (By appointment) 447 S. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-742-0115
Bright Side Opportunities Center 515 Hershey Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603 Bilingual staff available to assist Hours: By appointment To contact: 717-509-1342
Community Action Partnership (CAP) 601 S. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 Bilingual staff able to assist Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am-1pm, 2-4pm, by appointment To contact: 717-299-7301
Crispus Attucks 407 Howard Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17602 Hours: Mondays, 9am-12pm, 1-5pm, Fridays 9am-12pm, by appointment To contact: 717-394-6604
Parish Resource Center
Hours: Sunday 5-6pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 517 N. Queen St., Lancaster, PA (Parking lot) Monday 5-6pm at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, 432 E. Chestnut St., Lancaster PA (Front foyer) Tuesday 5-6pm at Shaarai Shomayim, 75 E. James St., Lancaster, PA (Sidewalk on Duke St.)