The Industrial and Neighborhood History around Matthias Baldwin Park, Philadelphia

Industrious Light: Baldwin Locomotive Works
The new mural by Phillip Adams for the Mural Arts program.
Note turtle; flowering plants; locomotive; and factory shop with wheels, hoist, and rivets on steel support columns.

The Oliver Evans Chapter presents
“The Industrial and Neighborhood History around Matthias Baldwin Park”
A talk by Joe Walsh, vice president of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park

 Tuesday, December 14, 2021 6:30 – 8:30

Matthias Baldwin Park is a two-acre Philadelphia city park at 423 North 19th Street. The Friends post a monthly hyperlocal history article about sites within two blocks of the park at, under the History tab. There are over fifty articles so far, many dealing with industrialists such as Matthias Baldwin, William Sellers, Asa Whitney, William Bement, and even Oliver Evans. There are minimal remnants of these former machine shops, foundries, coal yards, and locomotive factories, but Joe will mention two in his talk. In addition, he will use the Baldwin Park neighborhood as an example of the sequence of events that changed this and many Philadelphia neighborhoods from Lenape homeland; to colonial estate; to “workshop of the world;” to a deindustrialized target of redevelopment; and finally to glass high-rises.

Joe is retired from the medical field and has spent 16 years in Philadelphia. He lives in the Baldwin Park neighborhood and has long been interested in all things related to coal, iron, and machine makers — basically the 19th century history of his neighborhood. He is on the board of the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park and serves as webmaster for the group’s website at, and wrote many of the monthly history articles on the site. He is constantly impressed at how a few neighbors can adopt a wee bit of Philadelphia and make it the centerpiece of a real community.

Below is a link to an article by Joe with detailed information on the elements depicted in the mural including the Baldwin locomotive.

Save the Date 

This presentation will be on Zoom and a link will be posted closer to the time of the event.