Packer Park is a neighborhood in South Philadelphia that originally included 1,200 homes built in two unique builder developments of Packer Park 1950s and Brinton Estates 1990s.
The approximate boundaries are Packer Avenue to the north, Hartranft Street to the south including FDR Park farther south, Broad Street to the east and I-76 to the far west. To the immediate east is the South Philadelphia sports complex consisting of Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the dining complex of Xfinity Live! The Packer Park urban townhouses distinguish themselves in South Philadelphia by departing from the Philadelphia grid of streets and blocks of dense rowhomes. This includes cul-de-sacs that were designed with a greater emphasis on a green park setting with common green spaces and accommodation for driveways and off street car parking.
Packer Avenue itself was named in honor of William Fisher Packer, a former governor of Pennsylvania. In the 1920s, the US Navy built temporary housing on the site but later moved families to new housing west of Penrose Avenue. This opened up the site to the private development of Packer Park on what was reclaimed swampy land and preserving the vitality of the borders of Broad Street. An expansive parkland was established in the late 1800s, originally named League Island Park and locally became known as the “Lakes”, was designed by the famous architects Olmstead Brothers known for New York’s Central Park. In 1948, it was renamed FDR Park and is comprised of 348 acres which include a 146-acre golf course, 125 acres of buildings, roadways, pathways for walking, landscaped architecture, and a variety of picnic and recreation areas placed within about 77 acres of natural land including ponds and lagoons.
Also referred to as the Sports Complex District, Marconi Park or Stella Marris, Packer Park East features a separate 1950s development of about 500 homes. This neighborhood is bordered by Broad Street on the west, the Delaware River to the east, Oregon Avenue to the north and the sports stadiums to the south and includes Marconi Park, a dense area of green space with mature trees and grass.
The Packer Park community name expanded again in 2003–2007. Adjacent to the original footprint sits a development known as the Reserves at Packer Park. 230 new luxury townhouses were built on the site by a private developer, John Westrum who styled these homes for families on a triangular land area to the west of 20th Street, north of Pattison, east of Penrose Avenue. The colonial styled architecture incorporated the green technology of environmentally adaptive re-use of existing piles and foundations, infrastructure, and materials previously built by the Navy. The existing street layout preserved green areas augmented with large back yards and open area pocket parks. The streets and cul-de-sacs were renamed to memorialize sections of Italy to reflect the Italian-American population.