Tacony - A Utopian Victorian Factory Town

A lecture by Louis Iatarola, Jr.

FOR MEMBERS ONLY – Tacony is a community carved out of the banks of the Delaware River in the lower northeast portion of the City of Philadelphia.  Originally settled by the Lenni Lenapes, the community evolved from a sleepy fishing and railroad village in the mid-nineteenth century to a planned community at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution.

Envisioning a community free of the urban ills that plagued his sprawling factory close to the center of town, Henry Disston purchased approximately 390 acres of land in Tacony in 1871, reserving 40 for his factory.  He laid out streets with ample lots designed for homes to be sold or rented to his employees.  A park was laid out in the center of the community and deed restrictions were imposed on all lots within his tract, prohibiting offenses that would interfere with stable family life, such as facilities for the sale or manufacture of alcohol.

Nearly 130 years later, Tacony is a shining example of the foresight of Henry Disston.  His creation of a utopian Victorian factory town is evident today in the diversity of architecture, religion, ethnicity, and wealth status that make Tacony unique.  His deed restrictions are still in effect in the original Disston tract in Tacony.

Saturday, July 20 at 2:00 pm  MEMBERS ONLY – Call 215-438-1861

Following the lecture, Executive Director, Diane Richardson, presents the 2018 Annual Report