Italian for "beautiful sight", Bella Vista is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Annual festivals in the neighborhood include the Italian Market Festival and the Bella Vista Festival of the Arts. Cultural events in Bella Vista are centered around public concerts, coffeehouses, the Mew Gallery, and Fleischer Art Memorial.  Only a short walk from Queen Village, Washington Square, Pennsport, and East Passyunk, Bella Vista a perfect destination for anyone who wants to be close to the hustle and bustle of Center City but wants a little more of a neighborhoody feel.

Washington Avenue Loses Some Flair

For at least the last decade, a building near the corner of 8th & Washington has stuck out like a delightfully sore thumb. The squat building that was home to the New Golden Palace Restaurant would have probably fit in much better in Las Vegas than a block from the Italian Market, but there it sat in all its glory. Cheesy pillars, golden cornice details on two floors, and a crown above the entrance all […]


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Former Mildred Space Turning to Offices?

A few years ago, James closed after five successful years at 824 S. 8th St. when their lease ended. And we wondered what would replace this popular restaurant, located just a block from the Italian Market. In September of 2012, The Mildred took over the former James space, only to close this summer. A reader recently reached out, concerned that the former restaurant space would be converted into offices. These fears stemmed from a sign on […]


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Delorean Time Machine: Cianfrani Park

The northeast corner of 8th & Fitzwater has played a central part in defining its Bella Vista neighborhood for almost 200 years.  Its story begins in 1832, when, according to Philadelphia Buildings, a school serving both boys and girls was constructed on the spot.  The Ringgold Grammar School is shown here below in an image taken from Samuel L. Smedley’s 1862 Philadelphia Atlas. The Ringgold Grammar School, 1862 The school enjoyed a fairly decent run, enduring nearly to […]


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Big Home Coming to Little Delhi Street

Here at Naked Philly, we have the chance to cover projects large and small, on streets wide and narrow. The 600 block of S. Delhi Street is one of the skinnier residential blocks you'll find in Philadelphia, with barely enough room for a car to make its way up the street. We actually visited this block, with its dangerous proximity to the South Street Whole Foods, once before, sharing news of a new home a […]


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Rotting Bays in Bella Vista Have Been Repaired

Last fall, we told you about a pair of rotting bay windows in Bella Vista, around the corner from the Italian Market. At that time, there was a Stop Work Order posted on the building because the work was apparently being done without a permit. We were frankly more concerned about the dodgy looking setup of the scaffolding, which sat on top of a metal awning. In November Apparently the owners sorted out their permitting […]


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Update: Mildred Court Progressing

Over the winter, when we last checked in on Mildred Court, the twenty-five home development under construction on 8th Street, Montrose Street, and Carpenter Street, the buildings that once stood there had been demolished and formwork had appeared on Carpenter Street. We passed by the other day and discovered all kinds of progress at the site. Most of the homes have been framed out and sheathed, and many of the windows have been installed as […]


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Carpet Place Out, Homes Coming on Bainbridge

A few months back, developers appeared before the Bella Vista Neighbors Association with plans to raze the building that's housed the Klinghoffer carpet showroom for years and replace it with three new homes. They also intended to build four homes across the street where a one-story garage previously stood. Showroom In a vacuum, this sounds like a welcome change for an area that is already predominantly residential, save for a few ground-floor retail spots nearby. […]


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You Could Live in Historic Columbus Hall

If you're heading down 8th Street in Bella Vista, your eye is easily drawn to the handsome Columbus Hall building just south of Fitzwater Street. Located at 744-46 S. 8th St., the building was home in recent decades to Mama Yolanda's restaurant, now out of business. It was initially built as a building for a volunteer fire company, and in 1867 became a social hall for Italian immigrants. Two years ago, we told you about […]


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Delorean Time Machine: Banca Calabrese

In 1880, the population of Italians living in Philadelphia was modest, according to an article by Stefano Luconi.  However, in the years immediately thereafter, a wave of immigration would make Philly second only to New York in the number of newly-arrived Italians.  During this first great influx, the settlement concentrated around what is today Bella Vista.  The area between 7th, 9th, Christian and Carpenter Streets, shown in G.W. Bromley’s 1875 Philadelphia Atlas, was quickly transforming into something of […]


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Hello My Name is 6th and South

We've repeatedly visited the corner of 6th & South over the last few years, alerting you as new businesses have arrived and lamenting continuing vacancies. Most recently, we gave you the heads up that the long-vacant building on the southwest corner, most recently home to a McDonald's, was finally getting renovated. Windows were replacing plywood and gray stucco covered brick. That effort is now finished. Newly stuccoed facade with new windows The space, however, remains […]


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