Barkan Park, Philadelphia

Barkan Park is located on the corner of 50th Street & Spruce Street. The park is a small, passive-use park cared for by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. It is a wonderful place to experience the outdoors, and a great place to experience and appreciate the history of Philadelphia.

Barkan Park has 25 year history in West Philadelphia. The park area was once a tennis court. The park was named in honor of Ben Barkan who was the founder of the Garden Court Community Association. Ben Barkan, his wife Silvia Barkan and the Community Association were instrumental in preventing the area from becoming a gas station. When Ben Barkan died in 1969, to recognize him for all the years of active work maintaining a unified community, it was agreed that the park should be named after him. During the fall in 1999, a group of neighbors in the Garden Court Community and other West Philadelphia neighbors, under the leadership of Carolyne and Mark Krull, took interest in the park and in March of 2000. The Friends of Barkan Park was founded, having Silvia Barkan as part of the membership. When the park opened, it had a fountain in the area where the playground is today. In the early 90's the Tri-Block Neighbors convinced the City to construct a small playground. Recently the playground area has been expanded and improved upon, also severl smaller improvements, such as additional garden space and plantings have also been added to Barkan Park.

The park has many community activities throughout the year including a Martin Luther King Day celebration, "Spring into Your Park" day held in the spring of each year in which the community comes out to help clean and care for the park, "Fall for Your Park" day held in the fall of each year in which the community comes out to help clean and care for the park, and many events throughout the year. Members of the community often have picnics and parties in the park as well. The park has a great feel and a great community of people who care for it and look after it, come experience it for yourself! If you would like more information on the park or the activities please contact Mark Mendenhall at 215-476-2983

Remember to NEVER VISIT THE PARK AFTER DARK, and to try not to visit the park alone. Always think SAFETY COMES FRIST and your will be able to have an enjoyable time and stay out of harms way.

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1 comment

Howard Barkan, DrPH (Ben's son) 5 years ago

Thanks for writeup. Please fix the typo in the next-to-last line. 'SAFETY COMES FRIST'. You probably intended to say 'SAFETY COMES FIRST', not 'SAFETY COMES FRISKED' or 'SAFETY COMES FRISKY'.

Peace

Howard

howardbarkan@cs.com

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