Lawncrest, Philadelphia

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Lawncrest is a neighborhood in the "Near" (lower) Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The name is an amalgam of Lawndale and Crescentville, the two primary communities that make up the neighborhood.[1] The Summerdale community is also as of more recent years considered an extended part of Lawncrest. The Philadelphia Inquirer does not consider Lawncrest to be a neighborhood.[2]

The community can trace its roots back to the 19th century as a small German community known to some as Marburg. Parts of Crescentville were known as "Grubbtown" during the Civil War. The main artery of the community, Rising Sun Avenue, was originally a toll road known as the Kensington & Oxford Turnpike. A sole remaining marker of this toll road once stood in front of the Engine 64 Firehouse at Rising Sun and Benner, near the bus stop.

The area of Lawncrest extends from Tacony Creek Park to Tyson Avenue. Adjacent neighborhoods include: Fox Chase/Burholme to the north, Oxford Circle/Castor Gardens and Frankford to the east and southeast, and Olney, and Feltonville to the south and southwest. To the West is Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. The Newtown Branch/New York Short Line of the Reading Railroad (now SEPTA/CSX) separates Lawncrest from Montgomery County. Tookany/Tacony Creek also skirts through a portion of the Community.

Two SEPTA Fox Chase Line Regional Rail stations serve the community: Lawndale Station at Robbins and Newtown Aves and Cheltenham Station at Martins Mill Road and Hasbrook Ave.

Crescentville Station, closed in the 1970s, was located at the bottom of Godfrey Ave, behind Bond Bread and was nothing more than a dirt/gravel platform. A second Crescentville Station, which served the Frankford Branch of the Reading RR, was located directly behind the Bond Bread building on the south side of the railroad right of way. It was closed when passenger service ended on that branch in the 1930s.

Several SEPTA bus lines also serve the community. The route 18 bus runs from Cedarbrook Mall–Olney Terminal up to Fox Chase using Rising Sun, while the routes 19, 24, 26 and 67 buses serve the Eastern portions of the neighborhood, connecting to the Olney, Frankford and Fern Rock Transportation Centers via direct service or single transfer. All routes have connecting service to the Broad Street subway and Market-Frankford elevated lines.

The primary ZIP Code is 19111 (Fox Chase Post Office) for the area North of Comly Street and 19120 (Olney P.O.) for the area South of Comly Street. Most of the southern end of the Community is actually built on the former property of the Wentz Farm. Portions of the East side of Crescentville are actually built over former swamp land, while the West side was built on more stable bedrock.

Rising Sun Avenue (formerly 2nd Street Pike) is usually identified as the main artery through Lawncrest, though originally, Ashmead Road/Levick Street was the primary Road.

St. William's Parish, founded in 1920, covers most of the Crescentville end of the community and part of the lower end of Lawndale, from Magee Avenue South, while the upper end of Lawndale approximately covers the area of Presentation B.V.M. Parish which was founded in 1890 and also serves a large portion of the southeast corner of Cheltenham PA, in Montgomery County. There are about a dozen Protestant Churches within the Community, the oldest being Trinity Oxford Church which dates back to 1698.

Schools[edit]

Most teens who live in Lawncrest attend either Northeast High School (public), or Samuel Fels High School (public). Two Public elementary schools served the area - Ben Franklin and Creighton (now Universal Creighton charter school) and in addition, Presentation BVM Parish School and Cedar Grove Christian Academy (in the former Lawndale Public School building) serve the private sector in education. St. William Parish School Closed in 2012 and is now the location of MaST II Charter School.

Notable residents and natives[edit]

  • Frank Bender, facial reconstruction artist and fine artist
  • Bil Keane, Creator of "Family Circus" comic strip
  • Andrea McArdle, original Annie on Broadway, singer, actress
  • Ryan Bird, Lawncrest “Man of the Year” 1977-present

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Coordinates: 40°02′49″N 75°05′48″W / 40.0469°N 75.0967°W / 40.0469; -75.0967

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Place Names, L-P". Department of Records. City of Philadelphia. Retrieved April 24, 2019. Combination of Lawndale and Crescentville
  2. ^ Boren, Michael; Whalen, Jared (September 17, 2018). "Philadelphia neighborhoods: Here's what we say they are. Do you agree?". The Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network (Newspapers), LLC. Retrieved April 24, 2019. The following "lesser known" neighborhoods were listed in 1988 but are not currently: ... Lawncrest (in Northeast Philly) ...