Philadelphia, Then and Now

Burton (Naudain St), Then and Now
Naudain St, between 17th and 18th streets, doesn’t differ much from the current typical residential Center City Philadelphia block. Row homes dominate the view, most of which are three story buildings, with the exception of 2 attached row homes towards the corner of 18th and Naudain, which are four story buildings.
Part of the 7th ward at the end of the 19th century, this block has not changed much visually in the last 100 years. That is, to say, almost all the residential buildings of this block have undergone progressive physical renovation in the past century. The street itself, is a one way narrow road, on which parking is allowed on only one side of the street through less than half of the block. On the other half towards 18th street, parking isn’t allowed at all. Hence, the block still embodies the look and the feel of a late 19th century neighborhood. But is it in reality?
According to the 1896 map of the 7th ward by W.E.B. DuBois, this block (Burton St back then) was populated primarily by African American working class people. In fact, the map shows about 6 poor families and over 20 (the majority of the residences) populated by the working class, or as DuBois explains, the fair and the comfortable. There was 1 residence of the criminal class, and also a few white families in the block. Although I have no physical picture of how this block looked in 1896, the fact that DuBois categorized African Americans in “the Poor” and “the Working People”, I would assume this block’s physical view has not changed as it still embodies the authentic family residential feel to it. Most likely, however, middle class now populates the block and even upper class people as Center City residential life costs have been almost unaffordable by other classes.
It is interesting to understand that this block is situated in an area which in 1896 was populated by people of a wide range of classes. Middle classmen lived only one block north...