Penn Street

Penn Street, looking East from 4th street, Camden, NJ. circa 1910.

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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