An area of South Philadelphia steeped in history, Girard Estates stretches from 22nd to 17th Streets and approximately from Shunk Street to the south side of West Passyunk Avenue.
Named after Stephen Girard, who was likely the richest man in the U.S. when he passed in 1831. He left his $6 Million estate to the City of Philadelphia with that stipulation that the City create a “school for poor orphaned white boys” in his name and that the plot of land he owned and named “Gentilhommiere” must not be sold. In response, the City developed 481 rental homes which become Girard Estate homes and were eventually sold to private owners between 1950 & 1952.
The original homes were built by architects John and James H. Windrim between 1906 and 1916 with key characteristics being different than the typical South Philadelphia row home. Most are semi-detached with varying styles.
In most recent history, the home at 2313 S. Lambert Street was featured as Rocky Balboa’s home in Rocky II and many scenes were filmed on this block in 1979.
Girard Park at 21st & Shunks Streets is the center of neighborhood community activity. Additionally, restaurants and shops abound down West Passyunk through to the Quartermaster Plaza on 23rd & Oregon Ave. West Passyunk is showing signs of new and exciting business development, which one day hopes to compare to the buzzing East Passyunk scene.
The neighborhood was considered #3 by Redfin.com in 2015 as Philadelphia’s Top 5 neighborhoods appreciating in value. Most residents describe the area fondly and enjoy the sense of community alongside the picturesque tree-lined streets and homes’ affordability and unique characteristics.
The community website can be found here: https://www.girardestateneighbors.org/
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