Callowhill, Philadelphia

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Neighborhood of Philadelphia
View of Callowhill from Center City
View of Callowhill from Center City
Callowhill is located in Philadelphia
Coordinates: Coordinates: 39°57′36″N 75°09′29″W / 39.96°N 75.158°W / 39.96; -75.158
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215

Callowhill is a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is roughly located in the vicinity of Callowhill Street, between Vine Street, Spring Garden Street, Broad Street, and 8th Street. It is named for Hannah Callowhill Penn, William Penn's second wife. Callowhill was formerly home to large-scale manufacturing and other industries, of which an architectural history has been left in the form of grand old abandoned factories. During the 1970s and 1980s, the population of Callowhill plummeted, and although numbers are rising, it is a fairly unpopulated section of the city compared to surrounding neighborhoods. Recently developers have started to employ adaptive reuse projects, converting them into loft style housing; so much so that many have termed the neighborhood "The Loft District".[1] In 2010 the Callowhill Industrial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Callowhill is physically cut off from its neighbor to the south, Chinatown, by the Vine Street Expressway. This has largely prevented Chinese businesses from spreading north, although some industrial and storage uses by the Chinese community have been placed in Callowhill.[2] Vine Street is also blamed for the abrupt drop in pedestrian life above Chinatown, and the struggle faced by efforts to redevelop this section of the city that lies between Center City and North Philadelphia.

Reading Viaduct in the Callowhill neighborhood

The former Reading Railroad train trestle, the Reading Viaduct, is a defining feature of the Callowhill neighborhood. Neighborhood groups have proposed that the abandoned structure be maintained as a public park. The Reading Viaduct park plan gained momentum in 2009 when Philadelphia's Center City District (CCD), and its influential president Paul Levy, became enamored of the idea and ultimately became a partner to help manage the project.[3] CCD announced on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 that the first phase of the quarter-mile-long, elevated park will open in spring 2018.[4]

Philadelphia Traffic Court is in Callowhill, at Spring Garden Street and North 8th Street.


  1. ^ Loft District Property Phillymag, 27/03/2015.
  2. ^ Chinatown tries to stay in Chinatown Phillymag, 02/11/16
  3. ^ Blumgart, Jake (October 31, 2016). "First phase of Rail Park construction underway". Plan Philly. Retrieved April 6, 2018. 
  4. ^ Romero, Melissa (February 7, 2018). "Rail Park opening delayed until spring 2018". Curbed Philly. Retrieved April 6, 2018. 

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