Penn Street in Camden, New Jersey, has a history that reflects the city’s urban development and changes over time. Not appearing in the 1863 Camden City Directory, it is first listed in the 1867 edition, indicating its establishment or recognition within the city’s infrastructure during this period.
Running east from the Delaware River to North 12th Street, Penn Street was once a thoroughfare that traversed a significant portion of Camden. However, the street underwent considerable changes due to urban development projects. A notable transformation occurred in the area between North 3rd and North 5th Street, where much of Penn Street was razed to accommodate the expansion of Rutgers University. This development highlights the evolving educational landscape of Camden and the impact of university growth on the city’s urban fabric.
Furthermore, the construction of Route 676, a significant transportation project aimed at improving connectivity in the region, particularly to the Ben Franklin Bridge toll plaza, led to the disappearance of several blocks of Penn Street. This construction underscores the shift in urban planning priorities, where transportation infrastructure took precedence, leading to alterations in the city’s historical street layout.
These changes to Penn Street, brought about by both educational expansion and transportation infrastructure development, reflect the dynamic nature of urban environments and the ongoing evolution of cities like Camden in response to various economic, social, and logistical needs.
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Rex Place, a short thoroughfare, extended eastward from the vicinity of 317 North 5th Street, concluding its course at 309 North 6th Street, neatly positioned between Penn and Linden Street.
Reprinted from the series of stories of Camden’s earlier days, under the title Sixty Years in Camden County – Gosh! by Will Paul, appearing in The Community news, of Merchantville, NJ.
EUGENE F. ALSTON was born October 16, 1919 in Camden to Richard Alston and his wife, the former Dolly Robinson. His father had been born in 1891 in Henderson, North Carolina. Richard Alston was working as a laborer at the Victor Talking Machine Company in June of 1917, and had married. Mr. and Mrs. Alston…
WILLIAM C. AITKEN was born around 1846. He first came to America in 1869. He moved to Camden in the early 1880s. He was active as a builder in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He built rows of homes on Cooper Street between 9th and 11th Streets. Many of these…
, where he worked as a clerk in a store. He was then a lodger in the home of Frederic Sohn, at 489 York Avenue. He married around 1881.
WILLIAM ABELS was born in Pennsylvania around 1839 to Andrew and Sarah Abels. His family was living in Wilmington in 1850. After leaving Wilmington they moved around the country, residing at times in Camden, Philadelphia, Delaware, and Mobile, Alabama. William Abels began working with volunteer fire companies in around 1853 and helped form the first…