Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Judith Shuman was born July 10, 1947, in West Lafayette, Indiana, and she grew up in Defiance, Ohio, where she graduated from high school in 1965. While studying at the University of Cincinnati, she met her husband, Avi Eden. They moved to the Boston area, where Judith attended Boston University for law school. After graduating in 1972, Judith converted to Judaism and the couple got married on September 3, 1972. Judith and Avi then moved to Philadelphia and plunged into civic life. Her love for Philadelphia led her to become a powerful and influential figure in zoning and the arts.
As a zoning attorney and civic activist Eden played a significant role in Philadelphia’s Center City transformation in the 1990s and 2000s. She made a name for herself by battling billboards and advocating for sidewalk cafes (instead of buildings extending beyond their boundaries), and stately iron railings with brick pillars replacing chain-link fences around parking lots. She was active in many civic organizations and causes including: Project Housing Opportunity Medical Education, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Center City Residents' Association, the Mural Arts Program, Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB) and the John F. Street Transition Team. Judith served four years on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, an agency with which she had battled for nearly two decades, by Mayor John F. Street and was later appointed to the Zoning Code Commission by Mayor Michael Nutter.
Judith died of cancer August 8, 2008, at the age of 61. In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons and a daughter.
The Judith Shuman Eden papers on Philadelphia urban affairs are housed in eight boxes and one flat file. They document mostly her professional career in Philadelphia. The collection has been divided in five series: Homelessness (Series 1), Parking and Transportation (Series 2), Zoning (Series 3), City Planning (Series 4), and Historic Preservation (Series 5). The collection consists almost solely of printed materials relating to the organizations and causes Eden worked with. The collection does not contain documentation of her family or personal life.
The first series, Homelessness, contains printed materials such as pamphlets, flyers and newspaper clippings concerning homelessness, side walk ordinance, Project HOME, and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (Box 1, Folders 1-4). The series also contains Mayor Edward G. Rendell's 1993 statement of strategies to combat homelessness in the city of Philadelphia. (Box 1, Folder 3).
The second series, Parking and Transportation, consists of reports, policies, proposals, permits, guides, newspaper clippings and other printed materials (Box 1, Folders 5-14). The materials relate to the Avenue of the Arts, Inc., the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and transportation improvements in the Philadelphia region. Also included in this series are printed materials concerning Philly Walks and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (Box 1, Folder 11).
The third series, Zoning, comprises the contents of Boxes 1 and 2, as well as Flat File 1. The series contains correspondence, reports, proposals, zoning permit applications, public hearing materials, notes, and newspaper clippings. The materials relate to the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Philadelphia Zoning code. Oversized maps of Center City and Northeast Philadelphia from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission have been placed in Flat File 1.
The fourth series, City Planning, contains printed materials, newsletters, reports, guides, posters, calendars, petition forms, pamphlets and newspaper clippings. Much of the series’ materials relates to future plans for Philadelphia with regard to parks, graffiti, retail shops and markets, and streetscape. Mural Arts calendars from 1999-2005 have been placed in Box 3, Folders 4 and 5. Also contained in the series are two printed art posters: "Bully Wallpaper" by Virgil Marti and "Honky Tonk: Porttaits of Country Music' by Henry Morenstein (Box 8, Folders 2-3).
The final series, Historic Preservation, consists of manuals, guides, newsletters, handbooks, Polaroid photographs and other printed materials. The materials relate to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, and various architectural guides. Also contained in the series are ninety-two Polaroid photographs taken by Judith Shuman Eden of various Center City Philadelphia street scenes (Box 7, Folder 5).
Series I. Homelessness, 1993-2004, undated; 4 folders
Series II. Parking and transportation, 1988-2001, 2005, undated; 10 folders
Series III. Zoning, 1990-1999, 2004, undated; 8 folders, 1 flat file
Series IV. City planning, 1988-2005, undated; 45 folders
Series V. Historic preservation, 1983, 1986-2004, undated; 25 folders
Gift of Avi Eden, 2011.
Accession number 2011.065.
- Avenue of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Central business districts--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- City planning--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Historic preservation--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Lawyers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th century
- Local transit--Economic aspects--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Philadelphia (Pa.). Department of Licenses and Inspections
- Philadelphia Historical Commission
- Philadelphia Independent Charter Commission
- Transportation--Pennsylvania--20th century
- Urban policy--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Women political activists--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sabrina Bocanegra.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2015.
- Processing made possible by a generous donation from the Young Friends of HSP.
This series consists of printed material concerning homelessness and side walk ordinances, including pamphlets, flyers, and newspaper clippings. Of note is printed material from Project H.O.M.E., an organization whose mission is to empower the community to break the cycle of homelessness and alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, a coalition meant to unite government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues.
This series consists of reports, policies, proposals, permits, guides, newspaper clippings and other printed materials. The materials relate to Avenue of the Arts, Inc., an independent non-profit organization created in 1993 to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of Broad Street; the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s parking policies; the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia; parking garage construction in the city; and transportation improvements in the Philadelphia region.
This series consists of correspondence, reports, proposals, zoning permit applications, public hearing materials, notes, maps, and newspaper clippings. The materials relate to the Building Industry of Philadelphia, an association which promotes residential development and construction in Philadelphia; the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections; the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s zoning maps; and the Philadelphia Zoning Code, which regulates development within the city such as governing land use, the height and bulk of buildings, population density, parking requirements, the placement of signs, character of development on private property, and property uses.
This series consists of printed material, newsletters, reports, guides, posters, calendars, petition forms, pamphlets and newspaper clippings. The material relates to Avenue of the Arts, Inc.; Campaign Finance Reform and Clean Money Clean Elections campaign, which support the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns; the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections; vacant property management; graffiti; parks and public lands. The material also relates to the Mayor John F. Street Transition Team; the Mural Arts Program, which enables professional artists and young Philadelphians to showcase their artistic talent in a constructive way; the Philadelphia Art Commission, a charter-mandated design review board for architecture and public art; and the Philadelphia Independent Charter Commission, whose function was to study the existing Home Rule Charter of Philadelphia and propose suitable changes to the Charter to assist Philadelphia municipal government in meeting its current and potential future obligations in serving the public.
This series consists of manuals, guides, newsletters, handbooks, Polaroid photographs and other printed material. The material relates to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania responsible for the collection, conservation, and interpretation of Pennsylvania's historic heritage; the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places; the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, which actively promotes the appreciation, protection, and appropriate use and development of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes; The Interiors Handbook for Historic Buildings; The Philadelphia Architect newsletters; and 92 Polaroid photographs taken by Judith Shuman Eden of various Center City Philadelphia street scenes.