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Francisville is a neighborhood in North Philadelphia, which is a section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its boundaries are Fairmount Avenue to the south, Girard Avenue to the north, Broad Street to the east, and Corinthian Avenue to the west. In 2000, it had a population of about 4,500. It is sometimes considered to be a part of the Fairmount neighborhood, but Fairmount more specifically lies to Francisville's west. To its south is the Spring Garden neighborhood.
Francisville's street grid is unique because some of it is parallel to Ridge Avenue, rather than being oriented North-South. This is because this section was settled before the uniform street grid of Philadelphia had extended that far north. The community was likely a small village on the Ridge Avenue route from Philadelphia proper (today's Center City) to East Falls.
In recent years the community has become more activist, with the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation and Concerned Citizens of Francisville representing the neighborhood in efforts to improve housing and cut down on crime. A city program called the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative has brought the wrecking ball to many properties, with the hopes that building some new structures in the region is a better solution than costly renovations to blighted historic buildings. This blight has earned the area of the neighborhood above the Francisville Playground the colloquial nickname Doomtown, taken from the title of a song on The Wipers' Over the Edge album.
The neighborhood is served by Broad Street Subway stations at Fairmount and Girard, SEPTA Route 15 trolley, and the 33 Septa Bus Line. The Francisville Playground is located at 737-39 Francis St and boasts a full baseball field, children's play area, two basketball courts and a large community pool.
- Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation (FNDC) homepage
- "North Philly Drug Dealers Say Safe Streets Has Failed," Justin Bedford, Philadelphia Independent
- Francisville Neighborhood Development Plan Archived 11 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Slum Of All Fears," Daniel Brook, City Paper
- "Unprecedented Effort to Tear Down Thousands of Vacant Buildings,"[dead link] Planning, 2003
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