East Falls, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

East Falls, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

East Falls is a neighborhood in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. East Falls is located adjacent to Roxborough, Manayunk, and Germantown. The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River then extends northeast to Wissahickon Avenue. East Falls overlooks the multi-use recreational path of Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive. East Falls continues to develop, with new housing, retail space and recreation centers in production. It features three streets in proximity with the word "Queen" in them (Queen Lane, New Queen Street, and Indian Queen Lane), two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants, a small Korean grocer, illustrious mansions as well as some recently renovated housing that continues to increase in value. __TOC__ Recently, East Falls has been undergoing redevelopment to elevate its status to Manayunk and other shopping districts in the Philadelphia area. Several local restaurants and coffee shops have been built, and are beginning to see financial success. One substantial addition, The Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, has recently been completed. It will offer instruction to Philadelphia youth in its new convert|9.2|acre|m2|sing=on, sixteen court facility and operate in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia, and others. It was built in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania along with private funding.

East Falls is best known as the childhood home of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco. In addition, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, writer and divorce mediator Sam Margulies, Jewish studies scholar Chaim Potok, and Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell have homes in East Falls. Ravenhill Academy, a Catholic girls school run by the Mothers of the Assumption from the Philippines, was attended by Grace Kelly and the former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino. It was closed in 1977 and now is part of the Philadelphia University campus. It is a common misconception that Frank Sinatra exchanged nuptials with his second wife, Ava Gardner, in another campus building, a house on the corner of School House Lane and Henry Avenue.

East Falls is also known for its central location, an easy commute to Center City, and with easy access to several major roadways or public transportation.

Early History

Before the arrival of European settlers, the Lenni Lenape Indians considered the lower Schuylkill River their home. The Wissahickon Creek runs into the Schuylkill here and today is included as a part of Fairmount Park, providing walking and bike paths along its banks. Wissahickon is a merging of two Lenape words: "Wisaucksickan" meaning "yellow-colored creek", and "Wisamickan" meaning "catfish creek". In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries "catfish and waffles" was a favorite food at the many inns and taverns that ran through the valley, and a catfish still serves as the weathervane atop the Free Library of Philadelphia Falls of Schuylkill Branch. East Falls was named in the nineteenth century for the river rapids that were present before the completion of the Fairmount Dam. It had earlier been known as Falls of the Schuylkill or Falls Village. In the 19th century, the Dobson Mills textile factory thrived there.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, the racial makeup of East Falls is 72.06% White, 19.98% African American, 4.79% Asian, and 0.86% from other races. 2.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005, the median home sale price in the 19129 zip code, which contains East Falls, was $184,000. This was an increase of 8% over the median sale price for 2004.


*4th Council District (includes Roxborough, Manayunk, Andorra and part of West Philadelphia)

*38th ward (becomes 21st Ward west at School House Lane)

*U.S. Representative District 2 (most of Philadelphia west of Broad Street)

*State Senator District 7 (similar to 4th Council District)

*State Representative Districts 194, 197, and 198


*The William Penn Charter School, a private day school founded by William Penn in 1689 has called its forty four acre East Falls campus home since 1925.

*Philadelphia University is a private university with a convert|100|acre|km2|sing=on campus in East Falls, predominantly along School House Lane and Henry Avenue. Founded in 1884, it was previously known as The Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science (1961-1999). Currently with 3,100 part and full-time students, the university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

*East Falls became the main campus of Drexel University College of Medicine since it took over MCP-Hahnemann University School of Medicine in 2003. It is the consolidation of two medical schools, each with over one hundred and fifty years of history, Hahnemann Medical College, founded in 1848, and Woman's Medical College, founded in 1850 and later the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

* The Mifflin School, a K-8 grade school run by the School District of Philadelphia, is currently undergoing an $8 million dollar refurbishment project, and is also part of the Bright Futures project.

*St. Bridget’s Catholic Elementary School, run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has been in East Falls since 1853.

Places of Worship

*Baptist: Falls of Schuylkill Baptist Church

*Catholic: St. Bridget's Roman Catholic Church

*Episcopal: Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd

*Lutheran: Redeemer Lutheran Church

*Presbyterian: East Falls First Presbyterian Church


* [http://www.fow.org Friends of the Wissahickon]
* [http://www.phila.gov/phils/docs/otherinfo/pname1.htm Phila.gov place names]
* [http://www.uscg.mil/history/WEBCUTTERS/Wissahickon_1904.html U.S. Coast Guard History]
* [http://www.ashetennis.org/home/default.asp Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center]
* [http://www.penncharter.com The William Penn Charter School]
* [http://www.philau.edu Philadelphia University]
* [http://www.drexelmed.edu/ Drexel University College of Medicine]
* [http://www.medicalcampusofphiladelphia.com/ Medical Campus of Philadelphia]

External links

* [http://www.thefallser.com The Fallser Newspaper]
* [http://www.eastfallscommunity.org East Falls Community Council]
* [http://www.eastfallsdevelopment.org East Falls Development Corporation]
* [http://www.eastfallsglass.com East Falls Glassworks Glass Blowing Studio and Gallery]
* [http://www.st-bridget.com/ St. Bridget's Parish Philadelphia]
* [http://www.goodshepherd-eastfalls.org/ Good Shepherd Episcopal Church]
* [http://www.shermanmills.com/ Sherman Mills]
* [http://b32.shermanmills.com/ Sherman Mills Art Classes and Workshops]

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