Anita Ray can still remember how the baseballs would fly onto the street in front of her house in the 1950s. On one occasion, she was struck square in the chest as she sat on her front porch. “Kids were always getting hit,” she says. “And not just on game days, but batting practice as well.” From her front stoop, Anita looks westward across the street to an era long past. On this warm April afternoon in 2018, the street is quiet, no different from any other block of tidy homes in this corner of North Philadelphia. But this is no ordinary row of homes. The baseballs were hit from the legendary Shibe Park, and these unassuming houses shared its grand stage in their glory days. These are the fabled “bleacher houses” of North 20th Street.
Bob Bruhin is a web developer, tour guide, art photographer, author, blogger, and graphic designer. His love of urban landscapes, especially in post-industrial Philadelphia, PA, leads him to document some of the darker corners of his city.
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