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Curbed Cup 1st round: (6) Callowhill vs. (11) Mt. Airy

Which neighborhood should advance to the second round?

Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. Let the eliminations commence!


Callowhill has come a long way from the time it served as inspiration for former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead. Just this year, Callowhill was dubbed one of Philly’s fast-emerging neighborhoods—and for good reason: The number of construction permits pulled here has doubled year over year, while the number of property sales nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015.

Callowhill’s comeback comes as construction finishes up at the highly-anticipated Rail Park, an elevated park on an abandoned rail line that will bring some much-needed green space to the formerly industrial neighborhood. Meanwhile, developments are popping up all over, from residential to office space to commercial, and much more is in the pipeline. It’s no wonder millennials and creatives are moving here in droves.

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Mt. Airy

As one Mt. Airy resident put it, like many Philly neighborhoods, this leafy neighborhood has a strong sense of community. “Parents and neighbors participate in kids' local schools, we know our neighbors' names, and we are welcoming to all backgrounds, ages, and lifestyles.” Indeed, Mt. Airy pitches itself as an inclusive, historically integrated neighborhood—with Oprah’s seal of approval—that has the benefit of having the Wissahickon in its backyard.

Meanwhile, its stretch of Germantown Avenue is lined with locally-owned retail and restaurants, including Weavers Way, the oldest co-op market in the region. Even older buildings are seeing new life: The Lovett Library just underwent a top-to-bottom renovation, bringing its dated look into the 21st century, complete with a park in the heart of the community.

So what neighborhood should advance to the second round: Callowhill or Mt. Airy? Vote now!