The mission this year is to try to find groups in need of space who are willing to help underwrite the cost of some repairs in exchange.
The stately brownstone mansion at Leiper and Arrott streets is cold and dark, the front yard-turned-parking-lot is snowy, and the intersection is quiet though it is nearly rush hour at the nearby Margaret-Orthodox El stop. The Northwood Frankford Community Y is, like me on that waning winter afternoon, waiting.
The Y has been vacant since 2009 and its recent history is a tangle of failures, endurance, and stubborn hope. Once a community landmark, the Y has become a source of consternation among neighbors, faced down foreclosure, and suffered a leadership collapse. But now a group of neighbors is working against long odds to give this spot new life.
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