Peace Be To This House

At a Funeral For A Home commemorating "the slow decline and gradual rebirth" of a West Philadelphia neighborhood and the lives therein, the Unique Miracle Drill Team marched, the Mt. Olive Baptist Church Choir sang "Precious memories, how they linger," and residents gathered to celebrate the life of a lone rowhouse and, with its demolition, "return its brick, mortar, wood, and steel back into the earth.” A project of Temple University's art school in partnership with community residents, the funeral took place in the Mantua neighborhood - home to over 35,000 mostly black and poor residents, and part of the West Philadephia Promise Zone, one of five nationwide neighborhoods chosen as pilots for an Obama administration anti-poverty initiative. The resurrection-themed ceremony included a eulogy, a tearful rendition of "Amazing Grace," and a community sit-down dinner. There were also longtimers' stories about the former glory of the modest Melon Street rowhouse that "has done enormous tasks during these 140 years."

“This house has kept us safe, kept a roof over our heads...This house kept us warm in the winter. This house kept us cool in the summer.”


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