Just a quick drive outside of downtown Philadelphia is Lansdowne, a quiet borough in Delaware County. With the official name dating all the way back to the 1700s – named after a Lord Lansdowne, no less – this town is known for blending the old and new into a diverse community of people and ideas. Recently named a classic town of Greater Philadelphia, Lansdowne is a great location for families and young professionals with plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy.
Much of Lansdowne’s architecture is a mix of historic churches and buildings, turn-of-the-century Victorian homes, and several works by the renowned architect Frank Furness – including the Lansdowne branch of the Media/Elwyn train station. Lansdowne also has a host of more modernized and renovated homes, luxury condos, rowhomes and single-family homes on green, vibrant streets.
Originally a part of neighboring Upper Darby, Lansdowne began as a major textile, paper, and cotton industry hub. After the construction of a major rail track in the 1880s via the Pennsylvania Railroad, the silk, roofing, and steel mill industries were introduced to Lansdowne. During this time the town also gained a number of elegant hotels including the Evergreen Lodge, Hartel’s Guest House and the Windermere.
Interestingly enough, Lansdowne owes it creation to the real estate industry. After seeing that the farmers were disinterested in the growing industrial and railroad opportunities in the area, a series of real estate developers who petitioned the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to split the area off from Upper Darby and incorporate the Borough of Lansdowne.
In modern times, Lansdowne is well known for its arts, restaurants, and commitment to civic engagement. The Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation or LEDC hosts a number a major events year round in addition to community cleanup and development activities, including the Lansdowne Arts on the Avenue Festival, Lansdowne-Yeadon Elm Street Program and Lansdowne Memorial Day 5K.
If the LEDC sounds familiar, it’s probably because the organization is responsible for hosting the popular Lansdowne Farmer’s Market. Besides the delicious amount of local food, you can purchase, vendors come from all around the area – including the Pardocx Vineyard if you’re looking for some fantastic wine. Every farmer’s market also features a local artist and musician to enjoy as well, with Children’s Days and Dog’s Days happening throughout the summer. While the market’s main schedule is May-September each year, starting in 2015 the LFM has winter markets on the 3rd Saturday of each month.
Lansdowne also boasts a number of great restaurants, from the Avenue Delicatessen – we recommend the Americana Burger or South Philly Chicken Cutlet – or the Regency Cafe, where you can always find mouthwatering pastries. If you’re looking to expand your dining options there’s Avianna, a Thai restaurant on 55 E Baltimore Ave.
There are always a bunch of indoor and outdoor events going on in Lansdowne, especially if you’re a fan of the arts. Since 1946, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with local dance and choral ensembles to bring a number of great concerts to the area. One of LSO’s most common performance is its season of 5 concerts at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center; a stage also once shared by actress and comedienne Tina Fey. Other great performances in the area include those by the Lansdowne Folk Club and the Celebration Theater.
Some of our favorite people have made Lansdowne home! We just love Philly Home Girls’ clients, Nicole and Dan Orlosky’s stone Victorian on Owen Avenue, completely rehabbed and situated on a large professionally landscaped corner lot. The large front porch leads to a beautifully carved front door with leaded glass, opening into the foyer and winding wooden staircase. Next month will be their one year anniversary!
If you're looking to experience Lansdowne yourself, 142 Hilldale Road is a lovely enclave just a short walk from the regional rail into Center City. The expansive kitchen boasts granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and beautiful subway tiles. The adjoining family room leads to an outdoor kitchen and in-ground pool flanked with mature trees. A koi pond and gazebo round out this gorgeous home.
We know you’ll enjoy Lansdowne and the history, character, and charm it has to offer. With the 109, 113, and regional rail offering quick transport to Philadelphia and the surrounding neighborhoods, you won’t want to miss out on this lovely town.