During the 1950's the land around Old Pine Street Church was set aside by the city for re-development purposes. The Friends of Old Pine acquired the land along 4th & Lombard Streets. The church was running out of space for its programs and pre-school and St Peters School needed a gym for its expanding enrollment.
Various plans were discussed and in 1973 a committee was formed to plan and supervise the building project. By 1974 the plan was approved to include a large meeting space, gymnasium & locker rooms, kitchen, meeting rooms, library, and office space. The building space was to be shared by Old Pine Street Church and St. Peters School and the basement was allocated to the adjacent Presbyterian Historical Society for its archives. The center is built entirely from private funds raised through these three organizations, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Friends of Old Pine.
The Center opened in the fall of 1977. Early programs included the Three Steps Nursery Pre-School Co-op, Saturday for Seniors, wheelchair basketball and yoga. Afterschool care was soon added and in the 1980's Summer City Camp. An annual Craft Fair was the main fundraiser. The Philadelphia Committee for the Homeless was formed in 1982 and initially worked out of the Center. Twelve step meetings provided support to those battling addiction.
Today the Center is led by Executive Director, April Thomas-Jones, and a Board of Managers that consists of representatives from Old Pine Street Church, St Peter's School and the community at large. Current Board members are:
James F Everett- Board Chair Beth Gibson- Board Vice Chair Denise Horan-Board Secretary Ron Brady Denise Flannery
Linda Jacobsen Ramona Johnson Leslie LaRocca John Nelson Karen Skafte
Over the last 40+ years the Old Pine Community Center has gone through many changes but it remains a welcoming environment for the young and old. People from all over Philadelphia gather for weddings, after-school care, basketball/soccer/volleyball leagues, 12 Step meetings, Boy Scouts, GED classes, Saturday for Seniors, community meetings, CPR classes, an annual flea market, birthday parties and concerts in the outdoor amphitheater.
Stop by and see what is happening today!
Our awesome programs are only possible with your generous help!