East Mount Airy Neighbors (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Collection ID: 
Acc. 305
5.5 linear feet
Collecting Area: 



The East Mount Airy Neighbors, Inc. (EMAN), a neighborhood improvement association, was founded in December of 1965, largely in response to issues and concerns present in the racially changing neighborhood. Defining its boundaries as Stenton Avenue, Cresheim Valley Road, Germantown Avenue and Washington Lane, the association embraced the widest possible definition of East Mount Airy. The immediate issues to which the association addressed itself in 1966, as set forth in the first issue of the organization’s newsletter (January, 1966), were the quality of the public schools in the neighborhood and the unethical real estate practices which threatened the area’s residential stability as an integrated community. From this beginning, the association expanded to embrace a number of social and community programs.

Starting as an unincorporated association with approximately 200 members in January, 1966, EMAN has grown markedly over the years (with membership in the 1,500 to 2,000 range) and emerged as one of the city’s most successful and influential neighborhood associations. In March, 1972, it was incorporated as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation and, in September, 1973, secured tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.

Over the years, one general membership meeting has been held annually, while the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and other committees met regularly (often monthly) throughout each year. During the span of these records, there have been as many as eighteen active committees, but often fewer. Some committees were active for the entire period, while others only existed for one year, at most.

Although the two areas of activity mentioned above have been important throughout the history of the organization, other projects have been undertaken as well. A subsidiary corporation, EMAN Group Homes, Inc., has established homes for the mentally retarded and Northwest Community Housing, Inc., a joint venture with seven other community organizations, was founded to promote quality housing and neighborhood stability. A day care center was set up in the building which houses the EMAN offices and community center. This center, at 820 E. Vernon Rd., was purchased in October, 1974, after having been rented for over a year. Prior to that rental, the office had been in a private home and in a small, shared office with EMAN Group Homes. EMAN has worked on programs such as organizing "Together Blocks," helping to sponsor Mt. Airy Day, working with other community groups, and continuing to be very involved in education and zoning issues.

The establishment of the day care center and of the group homes for the mentally retarded, the sponsoring of the Northwest Community Housing Association in its zoning issues, and the interaction with the school board to obtain better schools, are all major contributions to the improvement of the neighborhood.

During the period 1966-1976, EMAN was involved in:

1. Education/Desegregation issues.
2. Zoning issues.
3. Police-Community Relations.
4. Crime control and prevention.
5. Youth programs.
6. Mental health care homes.
7. Health planning.
8. Improving and maintaining the local railroad station.
9. Purchase and renovation of community center.
10. Child care center.
11. Welcoming committee for all new residents.
12. "Together Blocks" for security and general good neighborliness.


The collection consists of five and a half linear feet, and covers the period from 1966 to 1976. The overall nature of EMAN’s records reflects inconsistent documentation, but there is substantial material that describes the workings of the Association, depicts the tenor of the neighborhood, and illuminates the resident concerns of East Mount Airy. Three major areas of EMAN’s original mission consistently manifest themselves: concerns with housing and zoning practices, quality of education, and improving the overall quality of the neighborhood.



  • Series I. Administration
  • Series II. Correspondence
  • Series III. Financial
  • Series IV. Membership
  • Series V. Other Organizations
  • Series VI. Publications
  • Series VII. Miscellaneous


Series I. Administration, contains the largest amount of material (two boxes) and details the organization’s business and activities. Material describing many EMAN activities and neighborhood issues will be found in the sub-series Committees and Programs. The evolution and affairs of primary programs are documented, including the establishment of a day care center and of group homes for the mentally retarded. This series includes materials from the following sub-series: Board of Directors, with sub-sub-series of Annual Meetings/Reports 1966-1975, Articles of Incorporation 1972-1973, By-Laws 1966-1975, Correspondence 1973-1975, History and Maps c. 1974, Job Descriptions 1972, Lists 1971-1977 and Minutes 1966-1976; Executive Committee, with sub-sub-series of Minutes 1966-1976, and Membership Lists and Correspondence 1975-1976; Committees and Programs, with twenty sub-sub series covering a number of activities and various years between 1966 and 1976. Of these, Education, Group Homes, and Zoning have sub-sub-sub series, indicating that these are among the most significant activities.

Series II. Correspondence. This series contains general correspondence, communication with City Council, state agencies and legislators. Evidence of EMAN’s efforts on policy and legislation on both the city and state levels is seen in the sub-series City Council and Congresspersons.

Series III. Financial.This series includes Budget/Financial Statements 1967-1976, a financial audit for 1974, and Grant Applications, both successful and unsuccessful, to purchase the EMAN headquarters.

Series IV. Memberships. This series contains lists, labels and applications.  Information on members, the number of members at different times, and leadership in the community is outlined in Series IV. Profiles of members can be found in the Membership Application folders.

Series V. Other Organizations. Includes information on local, regional and city organizations with which EMAN has worked and/or cooperated. An expanded picture of East Mount Airy’s relationship with adjoining neighborhoods and with the City of Philadelphia is reflected in Series V. Materials of two outside organizations in this series  actually pre-date the start of EMAN. Sedgwick Neighbors and the Stenton Neighbors Assistance Committee materials are dated 1961 and 1954, respectively.

Series VI. Publications. This series holds copies of the minutes of the Philadelphia Board of Education, the EMAN Newsletter, newspaper clippings, and publicity releases. The EMAN Newsletter provides a consistent overview of EMAN and is a good orientation to the organization’s activities and concerns.

Series VII. Miscellaneous. This series contains various items which were not filed in any folders and did not fit in any other series. (6 items)



Board of Directors

1 Annual Meetings/Reports 1966-1975
2 Articles of Incorporation, etc. 1972-1973
3 By-Laws, Constitutions 1966-1975
4 Correspondence 1973-1974
5 Correspondence 1973-1975
6 History, Maps 1974 & undated
7 Job Descriptions 1972
8 Lists 1971-1977
9 Meeting Minutes 1966-1974
10 Meeting Minutes 1975-1976

Executive Committee

11 Meeting Minutes 1966-1973
12 Meeting Minutes 1974-1976
13 Membership Lists & Correspondence 1975-1976

Committees and Programs

14 Booklet 1976
15 Child Care 1973-1975
16 Community Relations 1966
17 Development 1973-1976
18 Dinner 1975
19 Education 1966-1976
20 Desegregation 1970-1973
21 Desegregation 1974-1975
22 Group Homes 1971-1976
23 Financial 1972-1975
24 Minutes 1972-1976
25 Long Range Planning 1971
26 Mental Health Program 1969-1976
27 Mental Retardation Center 1971
28 Mt. Airy Days 1972-1975


1 Police-Community Relations 1972-1975
2 Police-Community Relations 1972-1976
3 Political Candidates Night 1975
4 Property 1974-1975
5 Sedgwick Station 1972-1975
6 Summer Program 1972-1974
7 Togetherness Blocks 1974-1976
8 Welcoming 1973-1974
9 Youth 1972-1975
10 Youth Employment Service 1971-1972
11 Zoning 1966-1973
12 Alert Service 1967
13 Alert Service 1968
14 Antioch College 1973
15 General 1973
16 General 1974
17 General 1975-1976
18 Grace Church 1975
19 Miscellaneous 1966
20 NW Legal Defense Fund- Washington High Rise N.D.
21 Washington Lane High Rise 1974-1975
22 Woodbrook-Anderson Lot N.D.



1 City Council 1972-1973
2 Congresspersons 1973-1975
3 General 1966-1974
4 General 1975
5 General 1976
6 Liquor Control Board 1974-1975
7 Traffic 1973-1974


8 Budgets/Financial Statements n.d.
9 Building Purchase1974
10 Financial Audit and Financial Committee1974-1975
12 William Penn Foundation1974


12 Address Labels (from Sen. L. Hill) n.d.
13 Block Captains 1971-1972
14 Committee Lists 1972-1975
15 Membership Applications January - March, 1966
16 Membership ApplicationsA pril - June, 1966
17 Membership Applications July - September,1966
18 Membership Applications October - December,1966
19 Membership Applications January - June, 1967
20 Membership Applications July - December, 1967
21 Membership Applications 1968
22 Membership Drive 1969
23 Membership, General 1975



1 Board of Education, 1966
Conference on Middle Schools
2 Citizens Council on City Planning 1966-1967
3 City of Philadelphia 1975
4 Germantown Avenue Day 1973
5 Greater Germantown appeal 1974-1975
6 Greater Northwest Coordinating Council 1967-1975
7 Hortter Street Civic Group 1972-1975
8 National Neighbors 1973-1975
9 NW Center for Community Mental Health 1970-1975
10 NW Interfaith Movement 1975-1976
11 NW Legal Defense Fund 1973-1974
12 NW Task Force on Abandoned Housing 1975-1976
13 Oak Lane Community Action Organization 1975
14 Other Outside Organizations n.d.
15 Philadelphia Committee on City Policy 1973
16 Philadelphia Renaissance 1975
17 Real Estate Trust 1973
18 Regional Health Planning Council 1974-1977
19 School District of Philadelphia 1967
20 Sedgwick Neighbors 1961
21 Stenton Neighbors Assistance Committee 1954
22 Tenants Organization 1974-1975
23 West Mt. Airy Neighbors 1971-1976


24 Board of Education Minutes October - December 1966
25 Board of Education Minutes January - March, 1967
26 Board of Education Minutes April - June, 1967
27 Board of Education Minutes June - August, 1967
28 Board of Education Minutes August - October, 1967


1 Clippings 1973-1976
2 EMAN Newsletter 1966-1973
3 EMAN Newsletter 1973-1975
4 Publicity Releases 1969-1976


5 Unfiled Pieces, ND