Mario Lanza Park

Mario Lanza Park banner. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Queen btw 2nd and 3rd Sts.

This park was built on the site of the former Trinity Church (Episcopalian, 1821 -1908) and originally called Queen Street Park. In 1967 it was rechristened Mario Lanza Park in honor of South Philadelphia native and celebrity tenor Mario Lanza. Born Alfredo Cocozza in 1921 to Italian immigrant parents on Christian Street, Lanza achieved worldwide fame as a performer, recording artist and actor. Lanza's father was an opera-loving grocer, and young Mario paid for his opera training by moving pianos. The park is a central meeting place for families, civic groups and dog lovers. The house at 636 Christian Street where Lanza was born is still standing, identified by a Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission (PHMC) marker. The Mario Lanza Institute and Museum, established in 1962 is housed in the former rectory of St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi at 712 Montrose Street, Lanza's childhood parish.

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