Located at the northeast corner of 13th and Mifflin Streets, the Mifflin Substation was built in 1913. It houses large generators which served the electrical needs of the City Transit Division’s trolleys. The Substation still supplies back-up power for the Broad Street Subway. The building is built of brown brick with terra cotta accents and features four large, arched windows on the Mifflin Street side.

In 2008 students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Planning Program conducted a study of East Passyunk Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood. The students worked with community members from the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) to identify potential neighborhood improvements. Their report identified the Substation as a source of blight and noted that “…time and vandalism have taken their toll on the exterior. The terra cotta band near the base of the building has pieces missing. A number of window panes are cracked, and green metal screening that was installed to protect the glass is rusting and hanging haphazardly.” The students suggested that the building could be turned into an attraction through better lighting and some form of “window dressing” to mask the broken glass and rusted screening.


PHASE ONE: The “East Passyunk Passages” Mural Panels

In the fall of 2010, EPX applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Dept. of Community and Economic Development with the assistance of Senator Larry Farnese. With funding secured, EPX chose neighborhood artist Donna Backues to design the window screens. Titled “East Passyunk Passages – Crossing Through The Ages” the five vignettes depict scenes from the neighborhood’s past and present. The transportation-related function of the building is woven into the artwork, illustrating how people have moved to and through South Philadelphia through the ages. The panels were fabricated and installed by Urban Sign, and the Mural Arts Program provided valuable expertise to help realize the project.

Each window will represents a different century and the people who called the area home at that time.

Window One – Pre-history through 17th-century: Wiccaco
This window depicts the area’s first inhabitants – the Lenni-Lenape who fished and hunted nearby. One of the Lenape’s walking trails developed into what is now Passyunk Avenue.

Window Two – 18th century: New Sweden
Tall-masted ships bring Swedish, Dutch and Finnish settlers to the area which is named Nya Sverige – “New Sweden.”

Window Three – 19th century: Moyamensing and Southwark
Horse-drawn trolleys bring new residents to the rapidly-expanding villages of Moyamensing and Southwark. In 1854 these villages were incorporated into the City of Philadelphia. The steeple of Annunciation BVM Roman Catholic Church, built in 1860, rises in the background.

Window Four – 20th century: South Philly
Electric trolleys and the subway help transport waves of immigrants to their new home in America. South Philadelphia becomes a melting pot of Germans, Irish, French, Jewish, Slavic, Polish, African Americans and others. Italian-Americans make up the largest group in our area.

Window Five – Current Day – East Passyunk Crossing
Buses have replaced trolleys, and new neighborhood names are crafted, but our area – where East Passyunk Avenue crosses the heart of South Philly – continues to welcome a mix of people from around the region and world.



PHASE TWO: The Fifth Window Challenge

The fifth window on the building’s Mifflin Street side presents a problem. This window is part of a bay that projects out from the facade. This opening likely functioned as a doorway through which the equipment installed in the building were loaded.fifth-window

The opening comes within a few feet of the sidewalk level so there are concerns about vandalism/graffiti. fifth-window-art

The material used to produce artwork for this space will need to be durable.

EPX is currently evaluating options and raising funds to complete the next phase of this project.

We welcome donations.


PHASE THREE: Linear Mosaic

A mosaic-covered decorative band is proposed to cover the broken and missing terra cotta at the base of the building’s Mifflin Street and 13th Street sides. This installation could weave together unique three-dimensional elements, such as tiles and other durable objects, representing aspects of the neighborhood’s diverse cultural past such as:

  • turtles and bear claws, symbols of the native Lenni Lenape
  • the blue & gold flag and heraldic coat of arms of the Swedish, the area’s first European settlers
  • various types of fish, representing the Italian Community’s beloved Christmas tradition “Feast of the Seven Fishes”
  • other elements representative of the Irish, German, and Jewish communities that once thrived in the area, along with the more recent Mexican and Southeast Asian immigrants
Mosaic proposal submitted by Marguerita Hagan
Mosaic proposal submitted by Marguerita Hagan

Santa Suds & Spirits

EPX supports and invites neighbors to attend the EPABID event Spirits & Suds with Santa!
Wednesday, December 12, 5:30-10pm …this holiday past-time will benefit EPX’s annual Holiday Giving and several needy families will receive gift cards to Super Markets, Pharmacy, Toy Stores and other stores.

Join Santa as he gets his jolly on at 12 East Passyunk bars, pubs and restaurants. The $5 admission gets you $3 craft beers, $4 merry cocktails and $5 snacks (select locations), a Santa or Elf hat, and Santa’s Sipping Stamp Card. Cards will be stamped with your purchase of every drink or food item, and after collecting 5 stamps, you’ll be entered to win a package of $300 in gift certificates from the participating bars and other great prizes. Every stamp over 5 gets an extra chance.

Registration will be held at Urban Jungle (1526-30 EPA) from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Stamp cards will be collected at Cantina Los Caballitos (1651 EPA) at 10pm. Participating Bars with food and drink specials are all on our Facebook Event Page.

To the Editor:

The article (“East Passyunk eases drivers’ parking dilemmas,” Sept. 27) failed to mention the involvement of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) in brokering the arrangement with Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School.

The EPX board is thrilled about the booming eateries and shops on East Passyunk Avenue and has worked in partnership with many of them. Paradiso, Alphabet Academy and Cantina Los Cabillitos have all won our community service award for their outreach to the neighborhood. In addition, EPX maintains a great working relationship with the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. (PARC), and the East Passyunk Avenue Buisness Improvement District (EPABID). These relationships have helped our neighborhood thrive.

EPX heard about the need for parking lot space from PARC and the EPABID and saw the opportunity for revenue, in the way of tuition funds for Neumann-Goretti. The arrangement we brokered was a triple-win: First, we were able to assuage the constant parking complaints of the neighbors who are impacted by the success of the restaurants along the business corridor. Second, the business community, led by EPABID and PARC, gains access to ample parking space a block-and-a-half from the avenue, and third, a well-respected neighborhood institution gains much-needed scholarship funds.

For six years, EPX has striven to meet the needs of its residents. Parking has, and sadly, will always be a concern in our area. This partial parking solution was an EPX idea, and we are very proud of that fact.

Joseph F. Marino and Darren Fava
Co-Chairs, Board of Directors
East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association


Please consider donating school supplies to Southwark Elementary via EPX.

The students need copy paper, chart paper, colorful and white index cards, a lot of blue folders with pockets for 100 Book Challenge, manila folders, staples, dry-erase markers, regular markers, crayons, glue, masking tape, packing tape, some rolls of film for our laminating machine, construction paper especially 8X10 for our bulletin board display, white-out, and scotch tape.

Anyone interested in donating actual supplies should contact Beth Dougherty at education@epcrossoing.org, or bring them to any EPX community meeting. We also welcome cash donations that are designated for Southwark school supplies.


Prevent Mosquito Breeding in Your Yard and Home: Mosquitoes are a common summer nuisance. They are not only annoying, but they can transmit West Nile virus, encephalitis, malaria and yellow fever to humans, and heartworms to pets. You can take simple steps to reduce this menace right at home, since mosquitoes can breed right in your own yard.

Standing water means you could be raising mosquitoes! Adult flying mosquitoes often rest in tall grass and shrubs, but they cannot develop there. All mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. Some mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water where they hatch in just a day or two. Other mosquitoes may lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans or other containers. The eggs may hatch weeks or even months later when the containers have collected water. After every rainfall, remember to remove any standing water from your yard and help keep mosquitoes from hatching.

  • Throw out or properly store old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water-holding containers so they cannot collect water.
  • Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can drain properly.  
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
  • Empty plastic wading/”kiddie” pools at least once a week and store it indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is properly maintained, especially while on vacation.
  • Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
  • Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes cannot hide.


For more information about the West Nile Virus, go to: www.westnile.state.pa.us TT Vector Control Services Environmental Health Services 111 West Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19140 (215) 685-9027 www.phila.gov/health

Mulai Teks Bahasa Indonesia

Cegahlah Berkembangnya Nyamuk di Halaman dan Rumah Anda!

Setiap musim panas nyamuk muncul sebagai hama bagi kita! Bukan saja sebagai gangguan, tetapi juga sebagai penyalur berbagai macam penyakit, seperti Virus Nil, radang otak, malaria, maupun demam kuning yang menyerang manusia atau cacing hati yang menyerang binatang peliharaan kita. Bahkan nyamuk bisa bertelur langsung di halaman Anda sendiri!

Dengan adanya genangan air dan tempat becek di halaman Anda, berarti sarang nyamuk bisa hidup dekat sekali dengan Anda! Nyamuk-nyamuk sering senang berkumpul di dalam rumput panjang ataupun di semak-semak, tetapi disitulah mereka tidak bisa bertelur atau mendewasa. Setiap nyamuk memerlukan air supaya bisa berkembang. Ada jenis nyamuk yang biasa bertelur di genangan/kolam air dimana telurnya menetas dalam waktu satu/dua hari saja. Juga ada jenis nyamuk lain yang bertelur di dalam ban roda yang dibuang, kaleng loakan atau kemasan-kemasan bekas lain. Telur-telur tersebut sering menetas dalam jangka waktu beberapa minggu bahkan bulan lagi kalau ada tempat dimana air bisa terkumpul. Langsung sesudah hujan, ingatlah untuk mengosongkan air genangan dari tempat mana saja dimana air bisa terkumpul di halaman Anda, supaya membantu mencegah nyamuk bisa bertelur.

· Buang setiap ban roda mobil yang bekas, kaleng loakan, ember, tong, botol, ataupun apa saja yang bisa mengandung air di tempat sampah tepat atau simpannya dengan baik.
· Isikan dengan tanah/semen atau kosongkan air dari setiap got/selokan di halaman Anda.
· Setiap beberapa waktu bersihkan got/selokan tersebut dari semua rumput liar atau sampah, agar air di sana boleh mengalir dengan bebas. Tutuplah tempat sampah supaya boleh tetap kering/bebas dari air.
· Perbaikilah setiap pipa yang bocor atau keran luar rumah yang rusak.
· Kosongkanlah kolam renang plastik/”kiddie pools” sering, paling tidak seminggu sekali, dan simpannya di dalam rumah/gudang/garasi kalau tidak sedang dipakai.
· Pastikanlah kolam renang Anda terawat/terpelihara dengan baik, khususnya pada waktu Anda pergi lama dari rumah (misalnya, kalau sedang “vacation”).
· Isilah dengan pasir atau semen setiap lobang atau tunggul pohon yang bisa mengandung air.
· Gantikanlah air dari setiap tempat mandi burung, tempat bunga atau “drip trays”, setidaknya seminggu sekali.
· Potong rumput halaman dan ranting semak di sekitar rumah Anda cukup sering, supaya nyamuk tidak bisa bersembunyi di sana.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut tentang Virus Nil, kunjungilah: www.westnile.state.pa.us atau Vector Control Services Environmental Health Services 111 West Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19140 (215) 685-9027 www.phila.gov/health

no bandit signs
Councilmembers Jannie Blackwell and Curtis Jones have introduced Council Bill 120017 for the legalization of bandit signs in Philadelphia. These are the signs proclaiming “We Buy Houses” or “Quick Cash” posted on utility poles, telephone poles, and even trees. Under the proposed rule, bandit sign erectors can apply for a $1 stamp from L&I for each sign erected. Then when signs are removed, they receive a $0.50 refund. This measure is “supposed to generate revenue,” but if you take the ~20,000 some-odd signs in Philadelphia now, the revenue generated only be $20,000 a year, not enough money to even pay for one City employee to administer the program on a part-time basis. The bill got its introduction to City Council and is now sitting at the Licenses and Inspections committee. This committee only met three times last year, and there’s no set agenda date for when the next one will be.

The board members of EPX unanimously oppose Bill 120017 as we believe these signs are a blight on the neighborhood. If you agree, we urge you to sign the electronic petition and share it with your family, friends and neighbors.