The Northern Liberties Business Improvement District has created an interactive tour to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich history this month.
The Northern Liberties Black History and Window Stories has been supplemented with an audio tour that goes more in depth on the series of vinyl window clings that tell the stories of black residents who lived in Northern Liberties in the 1800s.
Together, the activities create a loop around the neighborhood that makes for a leisurely stroll through Philadelphia’s original suburban neighborhood.
Northern Liberties is well known as a key stop in the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s, but at that time it was also considered the Workshop of the World. Black residents were an important part of that history.
“We have such a rich history in this neighborhood,” NLBID executive director Kristine Kennedy said. “Much of it has been forgotten by modern Philadelphians, but Black History Month is the perfect time to bring some of it back to life.”
Kennedy turned her own research into Northern Liberties’ black history into the Northern Liberties Audio Tour.
“I kept trying to learn more about the Underground Railroad, but only found vague platitudes,” Kennedy said. “I wanted to know about the people and places that were a part of it. So I dug into census data and the personal accounts.”
Window Stories is an extension of other work the NLBID has done activating the corridor. The audio tour is a little less than a mile long and can be completed in about a half an hour.
Window Stories locations:
• Penn Herb Company, 601 N. 2nd St.
• Suya Suya West African Cuisine, 400 Fairmount Ave.
• Casa Papel papery, 734 N. 2nd St.
• Stump Plants, 956 N. 2nd St.
• El Camino Real restaurant, 1040 N. 2nd St.
A link to the audio tour, show notes, images, and additional preview information can be found at https://www.explorenorthernliberties.org/black-history/.
For a full list of all happenings and businesses, visit https://www.explorenorthernliberties.org/. ••