Powelton Village is a national historic district to part of University City, north of Market up to Spring Garden Street, east of 32nd Street and ending at 44th Street (where it meets Spring Garden). It is comprised of mostly Victorian, mostly twin homes.
The Powel Family of the 17th century held estates in the area before it was urbanized with the presence of trolleys and became a prime residential spot for other businessmen of the time. By the 1940s, it was populated with gangs and low-income families. In the 1960s, it became home to members of the counterculture movement and today is known for strong political activism and an anarchist tradition.
Commercial activity is robust, especially along Lancaster Avenue, and these businesses benefit from local residents and college students alike. Residences in the area are mostly Victorian style twin homes, a large percentage of which has been transformed into apartment buildings for student housing. Gardens, trees, and lush greenery maintain the suburban feel in the midst of all the action.
Powelton is easily accessed by automobile and public transportation. The neighborhood is close to Interstate 76, and several major streets, including Market, Spring Garden, and 34th, cross the neighborhood. Bike lanes run along Haverford Avenue, Spring Garden Street and its bridge, Lancaster Avenue, and on 38th and 34th Streets south of Lancaster. The neighborhood is close to two subway stops on the Market-Frankford Line, located at 34th and Market and 40th and Market. Powelton is also easily accessed by trolley: the route 10 trolley runs on 36th Street between the Ludlow Street portal and Lancaster Avenue, continuing west on Lancaster Avenue.
The neighborhood is highly walkable, and features broad, unobstructed sidewalks along grid-pattern streets throughout.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Several art and photo galleries have opened along Lancaster Avenue from 36th to 40th. The Community Education Center, at 35th and Lancaster, holds various community events and gatherings. Spiral Q Puppet Theater is located on Spring Garden Street between 31st and 32nd Streets. Nearby destinations include The Bridge, a movie theater at 40th and Walnut; and the Philadelphia Zoo at 34th and Girard.
One signature event is Lancaster Avenue’s “Second Fridays,” so named because it takes place on the second Friday of every month. Shops and galleries are open later and often have various specials, and the event often features live music.
Public education choices include the Samuel Powel Elementary School at 36th and Powelton, the Drew School at 37th and Lancaster, and University City High School at 36th and Filbert. The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University both have significant presences in the neighborhood, as well as in adjacent areas to the south.
Read why VisitPhilly.com calls Powelton Village an “architectural oasis with a community mindset” here: https://www.visitphilly.com/areas/philadelphia-neighborhoods/powelton-village/
Read what some recent residents have to say about the neighborhood here: https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/n/powelton-philadelphia-pa/
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