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Northeast Philly

Northeast Philly includes three areas: Kensinton/Port Richomnd, Near Northeast and the Far Northeast. Maps of these areas as well as useful descriptions and pictures are below.

 Kensington/Port Richmond

Junita Park

Juniata (also known as Juniata Park) is a middle class, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in North Philadelphia, which is a section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Juniata is located south of the Juniata Golf Club in Tacony Creek Park. It is bordered to the north and east by Frankford, to the northwest by Feltonville, to the west by Hunting Park, and to the south by Harrowgate and Port Richmond.

Prior to the 1920s, Juniata Park was mostly farmland.The first row homes were built in Juniata Park, near Castor Avenue and Luzerne Street, in the mid-1920s. The western area of Juniata, around I and Cayuga Sts., was developed in the 1950s.

The Juniata municipal golf course,built in 1930, is an 18-hole, par-66 course that features the Frankford Creek as a water hazard.In the 1960s and 1970s, its two playgrounds, green acres around the golf course, and a small stables at K Street and East Sedgley Avenue served as a great escape for kids in the surrounding neighborhoods who would walk or ride their bikes to it for a small touch of country in the city.

Port Richmond

Also referred to as simply Richmond is bounded by the Frankford Creek. on the north, Lehigh Ave. on the south, I-95 and the Delaware River to the east, and the railroad along Trenton Avenue/Martha Street to the west. It is notable for its extremely large Polish immigrant and Polish American community. The neighborhood is also home to sizable Irish, German and Italian communities as represented in the various churches and organizations. In more recent years, a sizable Albanian community has moved in. 

In colonial times, most of today's Port Richmond was owned by Anthony Palmer, the founder of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood. Over time some manufacturing began at the southern end of "Hope Farm" and this area became known as Balltown. There were glass and textile concerns located there during the later part of the 18th century. A major coal terminalDuring the 1800s, with the advent of the steam engine aboard ships, Port Richmond was a major terminus for colliers who received coal from the Reading Railroad facility at the port, and transported it to steam ships at other locations.

Port Richmond, at the beginning of the 20th century, was a working-class neighborhood, and most workers simply walked to their nearby workplaces with lunch pail in hand. Cars were not common and those who had them stored them in stables. Stables for horses and cars were located in various parts of the area. Streets.

European immigrants arrived in large numbers and lost no time in scrimping and working long hours to earn sufficient money to purchase modest row homes, such as those along Chatham Street.

Salmon Street, a typical area side street.Such homes were generally twelve feet wide, and the entire length of the house was about twenty four feet. As most of the homes were row homes, which were joined together by common walls,  Only the fronts and backs of each home presented themselves to the street.

Today, Port Richmond is a vibrant neighborhood with a deep and proud cultural history encompassing several centuries.

Stores, some located down side streets, are small and numerous because of the nature of the existing row home architecture where row homes and homefronts have been converted to use as stores. However, many of these stores and drinking establishments offer food, drink and charm which is unique to the neighborhood. There are many Polish delis and restaurants throughout the neighborhood, evidence of the Polish ethnic background of the neighborhood. The neighborhood continues to attract Polish immigrants.

Bridesburg

The northernmost of Philadelphia's River Wards, is a river-front neighborhood just south and east the Northeast section. Bridesburg is an historically German and Irish community, with a significant community of Polish immigrants who arrived mostly in the early- to mid-twentieth century. The community is home to two Catholic churches: All Saints Church built in 1889; and Saint John Cantius Church, built some time after 1892 in Polish Cathedral style.

 It was first called Kirkbridesburg, for Joseph Kirkbride, who operated a ferry to New Jersey, and in 1811 built a toll bridge at Bridge street over Frankford Creek. About one-hundred forty years ago, the people of the village decided the name was too long, so Bridesburg was adopted. Bridesburg was incorporated as a borough in 1848 and in 1854, the borough was annexed to the city of Philadelphia in the Act of Consolidation.


Kensington 

The area is just a couple of miles northeast of Center City and just to the West of the Port Richmond neighborhood. Not to be confused with the former Kensington District, now commonly referred to as Fishtown, the area currently referred to as "Kensington" is more of a section of smaller sub-neighborhoods than a clearly defined area. As such, there are disputes among locals as to the boundaries of the area. Generally-accepted boundaries are the triangular area bounded by Erie Avenue to the north, Front Street (and sometimes Fifth Street) to the West and Trenton Avenue to the East. 

 Due to colloquial changes in the boundaries of the area since the Act of Consolidation, 1854, no clear definition is possible. 

Kensington is home to a large population of Irish Americans, Hispanic Americans (mainly Puerto Ricans and Dominicans), African Americans, Italian Americans, and Polish Americans.

In the nineteenth century, Kensington was one of the leading centers of the textile industry, particularly in carpet manufacture. Deindustrialization eventually took its hold on the neighborhood in the 1950s, leading to a significant population loss. However, some sections of the neighborhood have been revitalized in recent years. Fishtown, an area of Kensington where many Shad fisheries were located, another traditionally working-class neighborhood that has seen rents increase. While most of the large manufacturers have left, the area has many small shops and large renovated factories and warehouses for newer artisans to set up shop. 

Near Northeast

 

Frankford

Frankford is a large and important neighborhood in the lower Northeast section of Philadelphia situated about six miles northeast of Center City. The neighborhood is bounded roughly by the original course of Frankford Creek, now roughly Adams to Aramingo Avenues, Roosevelt Boulevard, and Cheltenham Avenue.

The first European settlement in the Northeast was by Swedish farmers, who emigrated there when the area was a part of the New Sweden colony. They were followed by English Quakers in the late 1680s. In the years to follow, Northeast Philadelphia developed as a scattering of small towns and farms that were a part of Philadelphia County, but not the City of Philadelphia.
The presence of many creeks, along with proximity to Philadelphia proper, made the towns of the Northeast suitable for industrial development. The Northeast's first factory was the Rowland Shovel Works on the Pennypack Creek. More mills and factories followed along the Pennypack and Frankford Creeks, and traces of the mill races and dams remain to this day. The most famous of these factories was the Disston Saw Works in Tacony.
By 1854, the entire County of Philadelphia was incorporated into the City. In the first three decades of the 20th century, rapid industrialization led to the growth of industrial sections of the northeast and the neighborhoods surrounding them. These demographic changes, along with the building of the Market-Frankford Line train and new arterial highways, such as the Roosevelt Boulevard, brought new middle class populations to the lower half of the Northeast.
Today, the Northeast enjoys greater racial balance and relative stability. The region is uniformly developed, but like many American urban communities, it has witnessed the loss of manufacturing, factory conversions to marginal retail "outlets," and growing vacancies along shopping avenues, especially in the southern part of the region. During the housing boom of the first decade of the 21st century, favorable property tax advantages granted to new construction within the city limits led to a growth in residential units and an escalation of existing home prices in the Northeast.

Oxford Circle

Oxford Circle Its namesake is the much used traffic circle. Physical boundaries are: Roosevelt Boulevard on the southeast, Oxford Avenue on the west, and Cottman Avenue on the north. Oxford Circle's boundaries (including Castor Gardens) seem to have a general basis in the course of three creeks which were part of the landscape long before the development of the neighborhood. Most of Oxford Circle lies between these creeks. The area which included waterways such as the Tacony Creek and Wissinoming Creek had been mostly utilized for farming up until the time that the land was sold off to developers just prior to World War II.

Most of the brick and stone row houses which characterize this neighborhood today were built by the Hyman Korman Company starting in the early 1940s and continuing into the 1950s. During that time and in the 1960's and 1970s Oxford Circle was a relatively prosperous white middle class neighborhood and the majority of its residents were first and second generation Jewish Americans. Today's Oxford Circle contains a diverse population of peoples, including a large number of Hispanics and African-Americans.

Mayfair

Mayfair centered on the intersection of Cottman and Frankford Avenues. Before development in the 1920's, Mayfair was essentially farmland and home to The Edwin Forrest Home for Children and The Oxford and Lower Dublin Poor House.

 First established in 1929, Mayfair came to fruition in the years following World War II as a community that provided fresher and more spacious living in an urban environment. It was constructed over farmland surrounded by the established neighborhoods of Tacony, Holmesburg and Fox Chase. Mayfair featured several groundbreaking concepts for city dwellers: bigger rowhomes with yards in the front and parking garages in the back. Development also served to connect the surrounding neighborhoods of the Northeast that had previously been isolated. In these regards, Mayfair was a forerunner to American suburbanization, an early part of the population shift from the inner city to its outer regions.

Tacony

Tacony is the oldest continuously occupied neighborhood in Philadelphia. It is bounded by Frankford Avenue on the northwest, Cottman Avenue on the northeast, Robbins Street on the southwest, and the Delaware River and Interstate 95 on the southeast. Early Swedish records spelled it Taokanick, a Lenape word for "forest" or "wilderness.". The neighborhood has a large Italian American and Irish American population.

Tacony entered written history in 1676, with 64 taxable residents recorded as living there. In 1679, Tacony was described in an explorer’s journal as “a village of Swedes and Finns.” In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy and influential families established country seats along the river in Tacony. By at least 1843, a vacation hotel, offering fresh catch for dinner, was operating along the river at the foot of what became Longshore Street.

The most significant event in the development of Tacony was the acquisition of land there in 1846 for a ferry-wharf by the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad, which had first laid tracks through the town in 1834, along the route from its depot at Frankford Avenue and Palmer Street, Kensington, to Trenton, New Jersey.

In 1854, the City of Philadelphia consolidated the surrounding county into the city and Tacony became one of its neighborhoods. Philadelphia thus became the only municipality in the US that is both a city and a county. In 1872, industrialist Henry Disston, seeing, among other things, easy access to river and railroad, purchased 390 acres in Tacony and moved his growing saw and file manufactory there from cramped quarters in Kensington. Tacony thrived during the industrial age as national and international firms opened branches there. \

The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, one of only two Delaware River spans connecting New Jersey with northeast Philadelphia, has its Pennsylvania terminus in Tacony. The bridge, which carries Pennsylvania Route 73, connects with New Jersey Route 73 in Palmyra, New Jersey. It opened in 1929, eliminating the need for ferries, used on that route since 1922.


Wissinoming
Wissinoming Physical boundaries are: Levick Street on the north, Cheltenham Avenue on the south, I-95 and the Delaware River on the east, and Frankford Avenue on the west.
Almost certainly, Wissinoming is a corruption of one of the Native-American words Quissinuminck (an early name for a branch of Frankford Creek) or Wissachgaman (a place where grapes are).

  •  The name Wissinoming first appeared on a property deed in 1723 but was never listed as an official subdivision or township of Philadelphia county. Wissinoming takes its name from Wissinoming Creek, which is a patent for land granted in 1676.
  • The first grant to a white man in this area, a Swedish settler named Peter Cock, in 1675, was named “Quessmacemink.” The alternate spelling of this name is Kwissinomink, which would be pronounced “Wissinoming” in English and would possibly mean “Duck Creek.”

Wissinoming, a residential community since the early 1800s, has long been overlooked by the industrial growth of Frankford and Tacony. In a news item in 1923, describing the location of the Yellow Jacket Stadium, nowhere is Wissinoming men- tioned: “The new field is above Frankford on the road to Holmesburg.

      A little known fact about Wissinoming is that it was one of the founding cities of the National Football League. The Frankford Yellow Jackets played in the League from 1924 until 1931 when the franchise, which is now the Philadelphia Eagles, was sold to Bert Bell and Fred Wray for $2500.

Robert Cornelius bought the farm "Lawndale" in the 1830's.He refurbished and added wings to the residence for his family. Cornelius planted over 4,000 trees, many rare specimens. The creek that ran through the estate was dammed into two ponds.

      Robert Cornelius left behind a legacy. He has been recognized as the person who did the most to beautify Wissinoming Park. After his death, the eighty-acre estate changed hands a few times, parcels were sold off and in 1913 the forty-one acres that encompasses the park as it is known today was sold to the city of Philadelphia for $115,000 and named Cornelius Park. As time went by, newer generations began calling it Wissinoming Park To some old-timers, however, it is still known as Cornelius Park.

Lexington

Lexington Park is bounded on the west by Roosevelt Boulevard, and on the north, east and south by Pennypack Park. The neighborhood is made up mostly of twin and single homes built in the years following the Second World War, and a few apartment buildings built not long thereafter.

There are some commercial establishments along Rhawn Street and Roosevelt Boulevard. Convenience to the park makes it an attractive location for families with children. Lexington Park is also home to Nazareth Hospital.
Of Lexington Park's well known celebrities, actor Sylvester Stallone, even though he often touts himself as having spent his teenage years growing up in Mayfair,while attending and later dropping out from Northeast Philadelphia's Lincoln High School, in truth, actually resided in Lexington Park during those years. But with Lexington Park being white collar, and Mayfair being blue collar, the "growing up in rough and tumble Mayfair" image apparently far better fit the "Rocky" identity. In 2006, when Rocky Balboa was being filmed in Philadelphia, Sylvester Stallone, along with brother Frank Stallone, made a special side trip to revisit their old house in Lexington Park.


Fox Chase
Fox Chase The origin of the name comes from The "Fox Chase Inn" which opened in 1705. It throve on the Turnpike trade, but it also catered to the affluent who wanted to hunt fox, thus the name "Fox Chase".
Fox Chase was originally part of Lower Dublin Township, also known as Dublin Township, a defunct township that was located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The township ceased to exist and was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia following the passage of the Act of Consolidation, 1854.
Philadelphia’s elite once flocked to opulent vacation homes built in the lush fringes bordering the city. The area's character changed with the arrival of the railroad in 1876. Many of Philadelphia's aristocracy began to discover the attractiveness of suburban living, and built mansions here, using the railroad for convenient transport into the city.

One of many parks located within Fox Chase is Pennypack Park. It is composed of woodlands, meadows and wetlands. The banks of the Pennypack Creek runs through the park from Pine Road in Fox Chase all the way to the Delaware River. The area also includes playgrounds, hiking and bike trails as well as bridle paths for horse back riding.

Fox Chase Farm is one of the few remaining active farms in Philadelphia County, and is used extensively by the School District of Philadelphia. It began as a land grant from William Penn to Lord Stanley and then passed to the McVeigh family for over 200 years. Later, the Wistar family developed it into a self-sufficient farm until it became a Gentlemen's Farm owned by two different gentlemen farmers, Lorimer and Butler.

The largest employer of Fox Chase is the internationally known Fox Chase Cancer Center, a unique facility that merges cancer research with the treatment of cancer. Its researchers have won Nobel Prizes for their contributions.

 

 

 

 

Far Northeast 

Far Northeast Philly

Academy Gardens

Its approximate boundaries are Pennypack Park, Grant Avenue, the John F. Byrne Golf Course, and Holme Avenue. Originally farm land, it was part of the holdings of Thomas Holme, surveyor for Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn.

Academy Gardens was settled in earnest by veterans of World War II during the dramatic expansion of the Northeast. There is little industry but a fair amount of retail trade in the neighborhood, mainly along Willits Road and Holme Avenue.

 

Ashton-Woodenbridge (also known as Ashton-Wooden Bridge and Pennypack).

Is located in the vicinity of Northeast Philadelphia Airport, including Wooden Bridge Run west to Academy Gardens, and south to Pennypack Park. The area was part of the former Delaware Township, until the 1854 Act of Consolidation incorporated it into the City of Philadelphia.

"Woodenbridge" is from Wooden Bridge Run, a creek that flows in the northern portion of the area, a tributary of Pennypack Creek. The name "Ashton-Woodenbridge" first came into use in the 1970s.

Active farms dotted the area as late as the early 1960s and horse-drawn wagons frequently served as local transit during snowy weather, navigating the steep Ashton Road to take workers to the bus stop at Holme Circle.

Northeast Philadelphia Airport lies at the north end of Ashton Road at Grant Avenue. It began as a World War II airbase, and now serves as a general-aviation reliever airport for Philadelphia International Airport. Despite having no scheduled passenger service, it is the sixth busiest airport in Pennsylvania. Veterans of World War II settled the area in earnest during the dramatic expansion of the Northeast. The housing stock is primarily twins, row homes, townhouses, and apartments.

Bustleton

Bustleton north of Rhawnhurst and Fox Chase and south of Somerton; sitting between Roosevelt Boulevard to the east, the city boundary to the west, Red Lion Road to the north, and Pennypack Park to the south, it is centered at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Bustleton Avenue.

In the early history of the city, Bustleton was known as a rich farming area. The area was a trading center and had hotels drawing farmers bringing goods for sale via horse and buggy. Much of the commerce was also conducted via small streams and rivers of the present-day Pennypack Watershed.

In the present day, Bustleton is largely a residential community with major commercial areas on Roosevelt Boulevard, Bustleton Avenue, Grant Avenue, and Red Lion Road. It has minimal industrial presence. The community is home to an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse population with many immigrant groups represented.
Crestmont Farms is an affluent small residential neighborhood located along the Bucks County line, at Poquessing Creek, east of Knights Road. The housing consists of single homes.

Nearby Frankford Hospital Torresdale Campus was the site of the summer home of Saint Katherine Drexel's family, of which the original structure remains; the area of Crestmont Farms was part of that estate.

Krewstown

Is a neighborhood located around Krewstown Road, west of the Roosevelt Boulevard. Uses of the name Krewstown include a bridge, a train station, a set of public horse stables, an apartment house complex (Krewstown Park), and the neighborhood around the apartment house complex.

The Krewstown area includes a good number of Northeast Philadelphia's newer and more upscale housing.

 

Millbrook

Also known as Chalfont, is a neighbourhood is adjacent to Franklin Mills. The neighborhood consists of row homes, twin and twin rancher homes and has subdivision names such as Robindale, Chalfont, and the DiMarco Homes. The neighbourhoods were constructed between 1956 and 1962, with newer areas near the Poquessing Creek built after 1970-1975.

 

 

Modena Park i

Is a neighborhood located east of Northeast Philadelphia Airport at Morrell Avenue. The ground was owned by the estate of William Dudley in 1910. The neighbourhood was built around 1960-1963, and features short blocks of two story rowhouses with basements. This neighbourhood borders Morrell Park, to its south. Parkwood, to its north. Walton Run woods to the west, and Millbrook, to its east.

 

 

Morrell Park

Is primarily a residential district, with only a handful of small industries, all of which are located within one and a half miles of the Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The residences themselves consist mostly of row houses, but Morrell Park is distinctive in that most of its row homes have garages in front, facing and with access to the street, something quite different from the traditional Philadelphia row house design. The street pattern of the development is also quite distinctive, consisting of a few through streets that curve through many looping side streets with only one culs-de-sac. The streets curve to conform to the natural topography of the area, for years avoiding development right along the stream valley of Byberry Creek. The land area of Morrell Park was originally the 300-acre summer home estate of Colonel Edward deVeaux and Louise Morrell (18 63-1917). The Morrells built their summer home near what is now Morrell and Frankford Avenues, not too far from Francis Drexel's summer home[2], which was itself near what is now the emergency room of Aria Health's Torresdale Campus.
The Morrells entertained extensively, maintained a horse track, established the first telephone line north of Frankford, built the electric-light plant in the area, and conducted an amusement park called Torresdale Park, located by Poquessing Creek behind the trolley barn at Frankford Avenue and Knights Road. The park ran from 1880 to 1906. After Torresdale Park closed, it donated many of its rides to Willow Grove Park, once located at the site of the present-day Willow Grove Mall.
Morrell Park was settled in earnest during the 1960s by families moving from other areas of Philadelphia.
Normandy is located east of Roosevelt Boulevard, in the vicinity of Woodhaven and Byberry Roads, built in 1955- 1956. All of the streets in this neighborhood begin with the letter N. The neighborhood is made up of Cape Cod style single family homes, with frame construction. Kraft Foods currently operates the old Nabisco plant at the southwest corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and Byberry Road. Devon self-storage occupies what used to be Best products, also what was the original Normandy Square market.

Parkwood

The neighborhood is generally bound by Red Lion Road to the east of the Roosevelt Boulevard, Knights Road to the northwest and Academy Road to the southeast. The community is situated between the Poquessing Creek and Woodhaven Expressway.
Originally inhabited by Native Americans, Swedish settlers moved into the area in 1645. Soon the Swedes were joined by English Quakers and the area became known as “Byberry”. In 1730 The Red Lion Inn was established along the Bristol Pike road. By 1854 the city of Philadelphia annexed Byberry Township.
During the late 1950s the Korman Corporation built a planned community to be called Parkwood Manor. The predominant housing type is the brick row house. Parkwood has a neighborhood shopping center as well as the regional Franklin Mills Mall that is located immediately to the east of Parkwood's residential area. A neighborhood commercial center was added in the 1960s at Byberry and Academy Roads, and it is still owned by Korman. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the City of Philadelphia established Byberry Industrial Park and approved development of the Franklin Mills Mall on the former Liberty Bell Park (race track).

Pennypack Park/Woods

Also known as Pennypack Village. The Pennypack Wilderness consists of approximately 1,600 acres of woods, meadows, and wetlands, all of which are being restored and maintained by the Pennypack Watershed Association.The Pennypack Creek watershed contains over 55 square miles of forests, meadows, and wetlands. winding its way past some of the more populated areas in Philadelphia, Pennypack Creek runs the length of the park and eventually drains into the Delaware River.
Neighborhood surrounding the natural reserve was settled by Irish and Ukrainian emigrants. The streets are lined with row houses and other attached houses. The Pennypack Woods neighborhood stands out within Pennsylvania for its college student friendly environment.

Somerton

The neighborhood is generally bound by Red Lion Road to the south, Roosevelt Boulevard to the east, East County Line Road and Poquessing Creek to the north, and the Philadelphia County / Montgomery County line to the west. The area is home to a large and fast-growing foreign-born population, most notably of Russian and Indian immigrants.

Somerton is home to Philadelphia's Somerton Tank Farms (tanks built 1954-1955), an experiment in Urban Farming. The Budd Company's Airstrip was located generally south and west of the Somerton Tank Farm. The Philadelphia State Hospital was located at the northwest corner of Roosevelt Blvd. and Southampton Road from the early 1900s until it was decommissioned in the late 1980s through the 1990s.

Torresdale

Torresdale, also formerly known as Torrisdale, is located along the Delaware River between Holmesburg and Bensalem Township in neighboring Bucks County. Before the Act of Consolidation, 1854, Torresdale had been part of Delaware Township of Philadelphia County, and before 1853, part of Lower Dublin Township of the same county.

Long before there was what is referred to today as the Pennsylvania Main Line, Torresdale, along with Holmesburg to its south and Andalusia to its north, had been Philadelphia's posh suburban neighborhood.

 

Winchester

Winchester Park is located in the vicinity of Pennypack Park, north of Holmesburg. It is primarily a neighborhood of single family homes, south of Welsh Road, built between 1947- 1955, and twin homes north of Welsh Road, built around 1960. St Jerome R.C. Church, at Lenola and Stamford Streets, is the parish that serves the area. 

 

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