And then there were two. It’s the final countdown of the 2017 Curbed Cup, our annual tournament to crown the Best Neighborhood of the Year. Two neighborhoods out of the original 16 remain, and boy, this matchup is a doozy: Neighbors Mt. Airy and Germantown are in the championship!
The two neighborhoods fought tooth and nail over the past couple of weeks to make it to the final round of Curbed Cup. Underdog Germantown made upset after upset, finally knocking 2016 champion and No. 1 ranked Fishtown out in the Final Four by garnering 75 percent of votes!
Mt. Airy, meanwhile, easily soared past its competitors each round, until the Final Four. Mt. Airy and Tacony went head to head, but ultimately the former inched past the latter, with 54 percent of votes. Hats off to No. 15 Tacony, who put up a great fight all throughout the tournament.
So there you have it: The final battle is between Mt. Airy and Germantown. This time, polls are open until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
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.
The historic neighborhood of Germantown has come a long way in its long history. It’s one of Philly’s oldest neighborhoods, and its historically significant sites dating back to the American Revolutionary War are neighbors to Germantown’s mom and pop shops and newer retailers and restaurants.
The historic neighborhood in Northwest Philly has also seen an interest in revitalization, with programs like JumpStart Germantown launching to help first-time developers work on smaller rehab projects throughout the area, while the community recently rallied to win grant money to restore its African American landmarks located along the Germantown Avenue corridor. Even bigger changes are afoot with the redevelopment of nearly a dozen properties around the Wayne Junction station.