Philadelphia Breaks Ground On New LGBT Senior Residence

On Friday morning, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joined former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and  Congressman Bob Brady, Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal and veteran queer activists Randy Wicker, Ada Bello, Jeff Fouratt and Michael Lavery for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future John C. Anderson LGBT Senior Housing Project.

Located at 249 S. 13th Street in the Philly’s historic “gayborhood,” the center is being named after John C. Anderson, a member of Philadelphia’s City Council from 1979 to 1984 who was instrumental to the passage of civil-rghts legislation protecting sexual minorities. Anderson, who died of complications from AIDS in the 1980s, was a mentor to Mayor Nutter.

The $19.5 million residence is intended to be a LGBT-friendly lower-income housing complex for seniors—the first urban project of its kind in the nation—and was funded through a mix of city, state and federal resources.

The six-story building will feature 56 one-bedroom units, with a 5,000 square-foot enclosed courtyard, “generous” multi-purpose spaces intended for residents and the  larger community, retail space on the ground floor and a glass installation featuring the signatures of LGBT civil rights pioneers in the lobby.

The venture, a combined effort by dmhFund and Pennrose Properties, is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

Above: U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, union leader John Dougherty, Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal, Mayor Michael Nutter and City Councilman Mark Squilla. Photos: Patrick Hagerty/GPTMC

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