Philadelphia East Falls

East Falls is a neighborhood in the Northwest section of Philadelphia and located adjacent to Germantown, Roxborough , Allegheny West, and Nicetown-Tioga neighborhoods.

The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River and extends to Wissahickon Avenue. East Falls overlooks the recreational path of Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive, and is desirable for its central location, an easy commute to Center City, with easy access to several major roadways and public transportation.

East Falls is developing with new housing, retail space and recreation centers. There are two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants and beautiful mansions.

East Falls is undergoing redevelopment to elevate its status relative to nearby Manayunk and other local shopping districts in the Philadelphia area.

The Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, is located in East Falls.

Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco,  grew up in a house at 3901 Henry Avenue.

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, Jewish studies scholar Chaim Potok, Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell have homes in East Falls

Ravenhill Academy, now closed, a Catholic girls school run by the Mothers of the Assumption was attended by Grace Kelly. It is now part of  the Philadelphia University campus.

It is said that before the founding of Washington, D.C., East Falls was considered as the site for the permanent federal capital.

Laurel Hill Cemetery, located in East Falls, has numerous prominent Philadelphians buried there.

The Thomas Mifflin School, Wissahickon, and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania are also in East Falls.

East Falls takes its name from its location on the east side of the Schuylkill River at the original line of waterfalls now damned at the Fairmount Water Works, In colonial times it was the  transfer point to the Indian path/colonial roadways which later became Ridge Avenue and Germantown Avenue. Rocks from the original and natural falls are still visible above the water.

The Lenni Lenape Indians considered the lower Schuylkill River their home before the European settlers arrived. This is also where the Wissahickon Creek runs into the Schuylkill River and is included as a part of Fairmount Park, which is known for its walking and bike paths along its banks.

In the 19th century, the Dobson Mills textile factory thrived here. East Falls is home to a number of businesses.

Falls Center is the largest center of commerce in East Falls and houses 18 businesses and dormitories for Philadelphia University.

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884 is a private university in East Falls. , it was previously known as The Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science.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 School District of Philadelphia operates public schools.

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.

St. Bridget’s Catholic Elementary School, run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was in East Falls since 1853. It was founded by Saint John Neumann, who was then Bishop of the Diocese of Philadelphia. The school closed in 2012.

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Data last updated: Feb 28, 2020 9:50:am.