BVTW is now BVNA

Bella Vista Town Watch Association (BVTW) is now the Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA). We’ve changed our name to align with our greater purpose!

Bella Vista Town Watch

Twenty years ago, the Bella Vista Town Watch was formed by concerned citizens so they could be better organized. Both long-term and newer residents were concerned about high crime rates, blight and the lack of basic city services. The Bella Vista community was changing, increasingly becoming “the” place to live. The community was known for its wonderful neighborhood feel, great restaurants, businesses and close proximity to Center City and the riverfront.

BVTW was founded in 1992 and incorporated in 1994 to help make our neighborhood a safer place to live, work and visit; we’ve changed and grown in stride with our community. Bella Vista now boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the city, so while public safety remains an important part of our focus, our vision has expanded. The neighborhood has grown, and over the years we have turned our focus, and our efforts, to a much broader “beautiful view” of Bella Vista. Now, besides Public Safety, additional committees work on a much broader scope of issues: Zoning, Neighborhood Improvement, Communications, Finance, Bylaws and Membership.

Watch for more changes to reflect the changing times: you’ll soon see a new logo that reflects the broader vision; a more comprehensive, user-friendly website that gives you more information and easier access to committees and projects; more frequent and up-to-the- minute local news by e-mail; and more opportunities for you to become involved. Join a committee, take on a single project, help sweep-up your block.

Come to the Bella Vista Neighbors Association meetings when they are announced and learn about your community and how you can get involved. E-mail today to talk with a board member about your role in the future of Bella Vista.

Our Mission:

The Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA) improves Bella Vista’s quality of life and strengthens community bonds. BVNA encourages civic involvement, provides a neutral and public discussion forum, preserves and augments our institutions and character, supports the delivery of government services, and promotes dialogue with elected officials.  We are an independent and nonprofit organization.

Welcome to Bella Vista

We are a neighborhood of approximately 7,000, roughly bounded by South Street and Washington Avenue, 6th Street and 11th Street. Although we are primarily a residential neighborhood, we are fortunate that a number of art galleries, coffee shops, and boutiques have set up shop here. And, two of Philadelphia’s liveliest commercial strips, South Street and the Italian Market, pass through our boundaries.

It’s been that way for decades. The old-timers who still dot the neighborhood – many of whom have long lived on one block; in one house – love sharing reminiscences of newsstands, barber shops, and corner delis long gone. They remember when bambinos played stickball in the streets, and nanas in house dresses swept their sidewalks every day.

That’s because the neighborhood is located at the northern-most edge of South Philadelphia, the city’s enclave for Italian immigrants. You can still feel a touch of sunny Italia in the air in the heady aromas of garlic and red gravy, of piping hot espresso and just-baked bread.

One of the area’s landmarks is closely tied to that immigrant history. It’s the Fleisher Art Memorial, which takes as its motif a sprawling Romanesque structure and as its maxim, a mission to help the “world come and learn art.” The nation’s oldest tuition-free art school, it was founded by the son of German Jewish immigrants to provide art classes to the new immigrants who worked in his factory. Read more