Girard's Farm

If I could have a super power, I've often said I would choose the ability to observe a place where I am standing in any point and time. This wish originated during hours of looking out the window of R2 train, which runs from Philadelphia to Wilmington. The train runs through Chester, then Marcus Hook, both port towns that have seen better days, and then along the Delaware River. I'd daydream about what it must have looked like before the Swedes settled this area. Then what did it look like as industry started to scatter along the river?

Below are a few pictures from xzmattzx's, well, really nice photo tour of Marcus Hook on Skyscraper City.

the beautiful American Viscose Company building

I want it.

But I digress. The title of this post refers to my new neighborhood, Girard Estate, defined as the area between Passyunk and Oregon and Broad and 22nd St. So I am living on Stephen Girard, once the richest man in America's, land. This whole neighborhood was once a 583 acre farm, named Gentilhommiere, full of exotic fruit trees and vegetables imported from Europe.

Now, the house sits alone, in the center of a small city park. I was really surprised the first time I saw it.
from pwbaker's excellent flickr set of the farmhouse

Around it is a shady, quiet, almost suburban, and not at all typical south philly neighborhood, that I walk through whenever I have the chance. If you're interested there's a guide on the architecture of the neighborhood here.